Ontario recently issued its third green bond, raising $800 million that will be used to help build clean transportation and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects in communities across the province.
Green Bonds were pioneered by the World Bank in 2008 to raise funding for projects with specific environmental benefits. In 2014, Ontario became Canada’s first province to develop and sell green bonds to encourage investment in environmentally friendly projects and attract new investors. Ontario is the largest issuer of Canadian dollar green bonds, with three outstanding bond issues totalling $2.05 billion.
“Ontario green bonds are a smart and innovative tool to build a greener, more competitive province,” said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, in a press release. “The proceeds help fund environmentally and socially responsible infrastructure projects that reduce our carbon footprint, grow our economy, improve our quality of life and pave the way to a sustainable future for all Ontarians.”
Proceeds from the bond will support 12 projects, including St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, targeted to achieve LEED Gold certification; ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville, which is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification; the York VivaNEXT Bus Rapid Transit Expansion in York Region; and GO Transit Regional Express Rail in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
“Fighting climate change takes innovation and action from all parts of our society. It means investing in public transit and improving energy efficiency to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that cause greenhouse gas emissions,” added Glen R. Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. “Green bonds give people the opportunity to directly invest in climate actions that will protect the environment, help us transition to the low-carbon economy and improve everyday life.”