The IIF Weekly Insight provides a concise perspective on global financial markets. It combines global policy issues and credit market trends, and notes important country and regional developments. IIF members can subscribe here.
Total global car sales are on track to hit their lowest level since 2010 as global recession fears loom.
Offset issuance in voluntary carbon markets has slowed this year amidst concerns over excess offset supply; Rising corporate net-zero pledges and technology advances (e.g. blockchain-based protocols) should support market growth, however, lack of price transparency and standardization remains a significant barrier for market growth; The finalized Article 6 Rulebook could spur efforts to integrate voluntary and compliance markets over time; Defining global threshold standards for high quality carbon credits should help bring greater price transparency and liquidity to voluntary carbon markets; A large share of carbon offset projects originates from emerging markets; pure removal-based offsets remain too scarce
Mounting geopolitical tensions risk undermining the international collaboration needed to address global challenges, including efforts to scale up climate finance; Yet delays to climate policies may prove costlier than swift action—which would further exacerbate public debt burdens; Near-term sovereign debt vulnerabilities in major emerging markets have increased substantially this year, but less so than in 2020; these growing debt strains make the challenge of sourcing climate finance more difficult still.
Country-level ESG scores offer a practical starting point to compare ESG performance across investment destinations; While not a substitute for comprehensive ESG due diligence, ESG scores also help monitor trends over time; Chile, Brazil, and Poland have the top aggregate ESG scores in our sample of emerging markets, reflecting their strong environmental performance, though Poland has more scope to reduce carbon intensity; South Africa, Vietnam, Russia, and India score in the lower range on the ESG factors that we track in our scoring.
Against a challenging market backdrop, flows to ESG funds fell to just $75 billion in Q1 2022—a sharp slowdown from their recent pace. Inflows in March ($15 billion) were at their weakest since March 2020; Sustainable debt issuance dropped to $285 billion in Q1, down 30% from Q4 2021; However, investor demand will remain underpinned by the continued acceleration in corporate net-zero pledges.