The Netherlands is expected to be the first triple A-rated country to issue green bonds, when the sovereign completes its debut transaction next year. Government expenses of 3.5 to 5 billion euros or US$4 to US$5.8 billion could qualify as green, to be used in railroads and sustainable energy, as reported by Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra.
Global green bond issuance hit a record of US$155.5 billion in 2017 and could reach US$250 to US$300 billion this year. Though they remain a small fraction of the overall bond market, green bonds are attracting more attention because meeting emissions-cut targets will require trillions of dollars of capital from public and private sectors. Out of the euro zone countries, only France, Belgium and Ireland have issued government bonds with the use of proceeds going towards financing environmentally friendly projects. In the Netherlands, around a dozen banks and companies have so far issued 15 billion euros worth of green bonds.