Green bond market practices: exploring the moral ‘balance’ of environmental and financial values

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Abstract

This paper explores why and how green bond investors apply environmental and financial morality. It analyses the coproduction of environmental and financial values in green bond markets using digital ethnography, industry literature and interviews with investors during 2019–2022. It analyses how green bond investors explain and narrate their diverse market practices in the balancing of financial and ethical returns, converging in an unstable space of mutual coproduction. The calculative practices and signalling of green virtue are performed in little machines of ethical inscription but are rarely either empirically validated or explicitly discussed. The green bond universe might appear stable, but its foundations are forged in long-standing intersectional assumptions, as it relies on, and reproduces, the historical structures of racial capitalism. The market practices described here are designed to help green bonds become a mainstream asset class. However, these are reproducing older discursive tropes and growth is elusive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1080/17530350.2024.2312864
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • green bonds, green investing, sustainable finance, green finance

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