Green Bonds for Cities (GBC)

The Green Bond for Cities project seeks to contribute to the development of a green city bond market in emerging and developing countries.

Globally, green bonds have emerged as a new form of proactive sustainable investing for investors. However, cities in emerging and developing countries (with the exception of Johannesburg) have not used green bonds successfully so far. Access to low-cost capital at scale is critical for cities to realize low carbon and climate resilient growth. However, reliance on the existing sources of debt in the local banking sector limits the capacity of financing new infrastructure for local governments. The green bonds market and its deepening pool of investors can offer the much needed access to this low-­cost capital.

The project will include:

  • Detailed assessment of capacity gaps and needs of local governments in emerging and developing countries in a scoping study.
  • Development of green bond market strategy guidelines for cities (addressed actors include local governments, regions and other potential issuers) in emerging economies (looking at different options for them to access the bond market, e.g. through corporate, development bank or muni bonds, and explaining processes and prerequisites for each option).
  • Creation of a green bond toolkit for cities in emerging economies with ready-to-use tools.
  • Support of Mexico City to issue its first green municipal bond.

Development (and provision) of green bond advisory and training sessions to support potential issuers (on and offline).

Green Bonds for Cities: Three tools to unlock the potential
(New Factsheet!)

Have a look at the factsheet here.


The project is led by South Pole Group and implemented jointly with Climate Policy Initiative, Climate Bonds Initiative and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.


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Mexico City’s First Green Bond: Accelerating Green Municipal Bonds

This project aims to accelerate the uptake of green municipal bonds as a tool in Latin America to tap into capital markets and finance low-carbon and climate resilient projects in cities. It achieves this by working with Mexico City to support the issuance of Mexico City’s first green bond, and its first bond under the State-like powers coming into effect from 1 January 2017.

Addressing climate change

The City has a strong commitment to addressing climate change through reducing emissions and improving climate resilience. That includes major plans for metro rail, expansion of bus rapid transit systems, improvement of water infrastructure, and low-emission buildings. Mexico City offers a good platform for the introduction of innovative financing tools.


Facing the challenges of a growing population, the transport system, management of its water sources and increasing pollution also due to its geography, low-cost capital available at scale in capital markets can support the city in meeting its investment needs and environmental goals at the lowest cost possible.



Viola Lutz is a consultant at South Pole Group since mid 2016 and has a background in economics and public policy. She is currently working on projects related to green bonds and the climate impact measurement of investments

Viola Lutz

Consultant at The South Pole Group