First, a shout-out to Time Magazine for putting oceans on the cover! 👏 🌊 🎉 See Enric Sala’s featured article in the Learn section below.
Blue Bonds Heading for an Inflection Point:
A number of us have backgrounds in structured finance, so we’ve been excited for some time about the potential for blue bonds to help accelerate a sustainable ocean economy. In 2021 we co-hosted a panel of experts with DLA Piper to review the expanding array of offerings, which at the time included a pioneering Bank of China blue bond offering of nearly $1 billion.
Three recent issuances point to a further acceleration of blue bond activity, both in size and variety:
Ecuador’s $656 million blue bond, part of a the biggest “debt-for-nature swap" in history, with proceeds enhancing stewardship of the Galápagos Islands
Gabon’s $500 million blue bond, mainland Africa’s first ever “debt-for-nature swap," with $163 million of proceeds dedicated to marine conversation
Ørsted’s EUR $100 million blue bond, the first issued by an energy company, with net proceeds allocated to offshore biodiversity and sustainable shipping
Larger country issuances and corporates like Ørsted getting engaged are two exciting developments as they represent a broadening and deepening of ocean-related fixed income markets. Investable Oceans is working with several groups on upcoming educational events – we’ll keep you posted!
A Few Thoughts on ESG and Impact for the Oceans:
We’ve been asked a lot recently about the current ESG debate and where things might be going. There have been strong headwinds recently, especially in the US, with criticisms of products, priorities and practices making some feel that ESG was maybe just a phase we were going through.
Our take: while using ESG as an overarching term has its problems – like the difficulty of balancing its different elements – if you unbundle the E (Environment), S (Social) and G (Governance) those investment considerations are here to stay. As an example the energy transition is clearly on its way, so asset managers will need to integrate consumer preferences, regulations and new technologies into their investment process, regardless of what they choose to call it.
Specifically on oceans, last year for Climate Week we wrote a piece for the World Economic Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues focused on how emerging frameworks and strategies were laying the foundation for a robust “Ocean ESG” in the future. For this year’s Climate Week Investable Oceans is delighted to be partnering with CREO on a piece exploring common trends in blue economy fund strategies to measure impact, as well as identifying shared challenges. Stay tuned for its release just before Climate Week – we’re looking forward to continuing discussions on this important topic!
Some of Our Plans for Climate Week NYC:
Last month we wrote that oceans were crashing September’s climate party in NYC, and since then the number of ocean-focused events has multiplied. A few we’re involved with:
Launch of the Lofoten Hope Initiative at The Explorers Club on Sunday, Sept 17th @5pm. An outcome of last week’s expedition led by Keith Tuffley, Johan Rockstrom and Sylvia Earle to the magical Lofoten Islands. Here’s Ted’s take on it, as well as an elegant reflection in a Medium post by Alexa Firmenich.
ORRAA’s first Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) at The Explorers Club on Wednesday, Sept 20th. Ted joined ORRAA’s board earlier this year and is looking forward to this gathering.
1000 Ocean Startups at The Explorers Club and various locations on Thursday, Sept 21st. Annual meeting (Investable Oceans is a member) combined with other sessions and events.
Some of these programs are invitation only. If you see events, whether these or others, that you find of interest, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to share what we know.
Also, The Explorers Club has an amazing line-up for each night Sept 18th-22nd. Tickets go on sale next week and we anticipate all of the events will sell out, so please let us know if you want a heads-up when tickets are available to the public.
Don’t Stop Scrolling!:
A new book on the history of deep-sea exploration from best-selling author Susan Casey
An article on efforts to create synergies between the aquaculture and tourism industries in Greece
A cool tool that allows users to explore data on the top 25 ODA providers for SDG 14, Life below water
As always, we thank you for your support and hope you enjoy the last days of summer! 🌊 🏖️ 🏄♀️
Explore Baja California’s Pacific Coast and the Gulf of California in search of dolphins, sea lions, and as many as four different varieties of whales on this unique adventure offered by our friends at Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic. Over the course of eight days, expedition members visit an undersea wonderland, hike in serene desert dunes, and witness strikingly beautiful sunsets in the company of expert naturalists.
Best-selling author Susan Casey takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of deep-sea exploration, from ancient myths and legends, to key milestones and achievements, to current scientific endeavors.
Vanessa Albury is a multi-medium, eco-visual artist and the Founder & Director of Coral Projects – an initiative creating the world’s first underwater eco-friendly art exhibitions to rewild filter species in the oceans.
A short documentary from Patagonia Films reveals the powerful ways that the ocean can help fight climate change and nourish communities as it follows the story of Câr y Môr, the first community-owned regenerative ocean farm in Wales.