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Coronavirus Bonds May Help Social Debt Emerge From Green Shadow

  • Development banks have sold $10 billion-plus of virus bonds
  • Funds used for health care, company support amid virus turmoil
Drive-Thru Coronavirus Clinic Tests French Health Care Workers
Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg

A rush to sell at least $10 billion in bonds in response to the coronavirus crisis is shaking up the green-heavy ESG debt market.

Issuance of social and sustainable bonds has jumped as borrowers including the European Investment Bank and World Bank raise funds to help governments and companies weather the consequences of the global pandemic. Their efforts have also stoked a wider push to make it easier to measure the results of social bonds -- something that can seem more nebulous than for environment-focused green bonds.