Summary of Green Bonds Take Root in the U.S. Municipal Bond Market

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In the United States, two overlapping concerns require massive spending: lowering carbon emissions and improving infrastructure in areas such as transportation, water and energy. The vibrant $3.7 trillion US municipal bond market has a major role to play in funding the projects that meet both priorities through “green bonds.” However, this article by policy expert Devashree Saha reveals that these instruments have some glitches. getAbstract recommends this enlightening report to government officials, investors and others interested in the progress and development of green municipal bonds.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the use of “green bonds” to finance infrastructure projects is growing,
  • What flaws exist in the green municipal bond market and
  • Why the market for green bonds should grow.

About the Author

Devashree Saha is a senior policy associate with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. She researches clean energy’s role in economic development policy, as well as the transition to a clean energy economy.



Between 2014 and 2016, America’s state and local governments issued some $30.3 billion in “green bonds,” and issuance soared by 47% from 2014 to 2015. Although they can finance energy, waste and antipollution ventures, US green bonds mostly fund water utility and transportation projects. The Seattle Transit Authority’s 2015 sale of $923 million of bonds to underwrite the extension of the area’s light rail system ranks as the biggest municipal green bond offering to date. Energy conservation and renewable energy financial instruments have been on...

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