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The $123 Billion Question Hanging Over Renewable Energy

  • Buyers want to know real environmental benefits of investments
  • Different standards, lack of regulator hinder assessments
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How to Hit the Brakes on Climate Change

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The green-bond market has boomed on the allure of investments that help the environment. Now, the industry is trying to show that the reality matches these ambitions.

Advisers and rating companies are starting to track the environmental effect of projects funded by green bonds, such as the impact on air pollution. The services may help investors move away from relying on bond-sale promises -- which are hard to check and often legally impossible to enforce -- and boost confidence in a market where sales will surge 30 percent this year to a record $123 billion, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast.