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Why tourism can’t yet tap into climate and green bonds for financing


Why tourism can’t yet tap into climate and green bonds for financing

Sourcing financing is always on my needs list for tourism development projects. So when a new potential source is reported, it catches my attention. This is exactly what happened last week with the following headline on “Why Starbucks issued its first ‘sustainability’ bond.”

The story followed up on a news announcement in May from Starbucks that it had just issued its first ever U.S. Corporate Sustainability Bond. The bond is an offering of $500 million to boost its coffee supply chain management in its network of eight farmer support centers around the world (Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia, China, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Guatemala and Ethiopia). Proceeds from the offering support loans to farmers to assist them in meeting the sustainability standards Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices program.

What about for tourism?

Nothing similar seems to exist yet for tourism-related projects. In July, the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and HSBC released the annual Bonds and Climate Change reportand in March, Credit Suisse/CBI distributed a whitepaper titled: “Levering ecosystems: A business-focused perspective on how debt supports investments in ecosystem services.” Aside from an emphasis on bond funding for railways in the HSBC report and a passing reference to “cultural services,” which include tourism and recreation, in the Credit Suisse report, tourism is not yet an industry that seems to be benefiting directly from the growing trend in issuing climate or green bonds.

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