The latest report published by Climate Bonds Initiative reveals that the sustainable debt market in the 6 largest ASEAN economies continued to grow rapidly in 2021 with record issuance of green, social, and sustainability (GSS) debt totalling USD24bn.

Thailand emerged as the regional leader in social and sustainability issuances in 2021 and is currently the largest source of sustainability debt, with a cumulative volume of USD5.8bn by the end of 2021 (38% of the cumulative ASEAN social and sustainability market). The majority of green bond issuances in 2021 continued to come from transport and energy.

Despite the clear enthusiasm shown by the market, high-emission and hard-to-abate sectors (especially linked to energy, heavy manufacturing industries and agriculture) must transition from brown to green rapidly in order to make vulnerable regions like ASEAN less exposed to the consequences of climate change.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the green opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. There is a tremendous scope for transition across the economy, and investors are keen to finance this transition. They need clarity and confidence that they are backing credible transition efforts that will bring the economy in line with global net-zero targets. Climate Bonds is working to provide this clarity through our criteria for both hard-to-abate sectors and entities focused on decarbonisation., said Zalina Shamsudim, Head of International Programmes, Asia Pacific, Climate Bonds Initiative