Guidelines for issuing green bonds in Brazil have been named initiative of the year by a respected environmental investment website.

Environmental Finance’s Green Bond Awards 2017 heaped praise on Brazil’s green bonds system, noting that since the guidelines were issued, the number of Brazilian green bonds issued has more than doubled.

Green bonds are debt instruments where money is used to fund green investments, such as in forestry, water, waste management, energy efficiency, land use and infrastructure.

Brazil’s guidelines, first issued in October 2016, were designed to “mobilise investment” in projects with positive environmental and climate characteristics and drive growth of green bonds in a fast-growing international investment market.

That same year, Brazil’s green bond market reached nearly $3 billion, according to Environmental Finance.

Awarding Brazil’s Green Bond Guidelines with Initiative of the Year, experts said they had helped “galvanise the concept” of the green bond market, as well as “eliminate confusion” among potential issuers, underwriters and investors.

Before the guidelines were issued, Brazil had issued just two green bonds, but since they came out, that number has more than doubled and is expected to “grow considerably” through 2017.

Brazil’s banking federation Febraban, which co-developed the guidelines alongside the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development, said it expected Brazil to exit recession this year, pointing to a new emphasis on collaboration between the government and private sector, which will be of benefit to the green bond market.

“This year, our hope is to start a new cycle of development,” said Mario Sergio Fernandes de Vasconcelor, director of institutional relations at Febraban.

“So there is a tremendous effort between government and private initiatives to open the market and financial sector to infrastructure, green finance project and green bonds.”

The guidelines also identify forestry and agribusiness as two areas where Brazil has “strong potential”, thanks to its low-carbon agriculture plan, which aims to recover 15 million hectares of degraded pasture by 2020.

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