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Debt Intersections: Green Bonds and the Built Environment

Authors: Ryan Jones*, University of Auckland
Topics: Economic Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: green finance, urban political ecology, built environment
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The end of the 20th century witnessed two profound developments: soaring carbon emissions intensified our environmental crisis and global capital markets swelled as financialisation returned to the economy. Standing at the intersection of these developments is a growing call for re-directing investment to the low-carbon energy, transport and building construction needed to alleviate climate change. In this context, green bonds are emerging as a popular form of financing infrastructure projects with purported environmental benefits. This paper will describe the relationship between green bonds and the built environment. It will touch on their potential effects, their current limitations, and the questions of value and risk driving geographical analysis of green bonds. Prompted by these concerns, the paper will use interviews with issuers and investors to explore the rationales and notions of risk shaping efforts to establish a green bond market in Australia and New Zealand. The paper will conclude with a reflection on the function of green bonds and the ways that it may, or may not, work to reconfigure urban political ecology.

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