Jan 29, 2024
Blue Finance: financing the health of the ocean
Blue Finance, through its main tools, can not only drive economic prosperity but also foster the resilience and well-being of our ocean

Blue Finance is an emerging area in climate finance with increased interest from investors, financial institutions, and issuers globally. It is at the intersection of finance and sustainability, directing investments towards the responsible stewardship of our ocean and marine resources. It offers tremendous opportunities to:

-         help protect marine ecosystems

-         safeguard our access to clean water

-         invest sustainably in the blue economy

In this framework, our project Ocean Disclosure Initiative is engaged to support the financial community in directing investment towards firms with strategies aimed at preventing and/or mitigating their pressures on marine ecosystems.

Why Blue Finance is important

Over 40% of the world’s population depends on the biodiversity and services offered by marine and coastal ecosystems. The ocean supports unique habitats, and the ecosystem services it provides include provisioning ones (e.g. food and fresh water supply, renewable energy) regulation/supporting ones (e.g. habitat, gene pool protection, climateregulation) and cultural ones (e.g. health and well-being, cultural value, spiritual, recreational), making a major contribution to the world's economic and social development.

The degradation of ocean health, caused by overfished stocks, plastic and chemical pollution, and the depletion of valuable habitats like coral reefs and mangrove forests, poses a serious threat to our livelihoods, economies and financial systems.

Banks, insurance providers and investors have a crucial role in supporting the conservation and sustainable development of the ocean and marine resources. Financial institutions, through their products, services,and relationships, can help preserve and safeguard our ocean, by financing the transition to a sustainable economy, which does not represent an issue for the ocean.

Blue Finance Project Categories and their instruments

The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) guidelines defines several blue finance project categories which include:

·      Water Supply

·       Water Sanitation

·       Ocean-Friendly and Water-Friendly Products

·       Ocean-Friendly Chemicals and Plastic-Related Sectors

·       Sustainable Shipping and Port Logistics Sectors

·       Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Seafood Value Chain

·       Marine Ecosystem Restoration

·       Sustainable Tourism Services

·       Offshore Renewable Energy Production 


This kind of projects can be funded through innovative financial instrument of Blue Finance, such as:

Blue Bonds. Debt instruments issued by governments, developmentbanks or others; to finance marine and water-based environmental projects(marine protected areas, pollution reduction efforts).

Blue Loans. Loans to support positive impacts on the ocean andwater systems; often with terms linked to environmental outcomes.

Blue Insurance. Insurance products created to reduce risks to marineecosystems and to promote sustainable practices in fisheries and aquaculture.

Blue Carbon Credits. Tradable assets that represent one ton of carbonavoided/removed from the atmosphere; used to fund conservation and restorationprojects.

Blue Impact Investing. Investments in sustainable blue businesses andocean-related startups; focus on sustainable practices and innovative solutionsfor the ocean.

Debt-for-Nature Swaps. Financial instrument where debt is restructured orforgiven in exchange for commitments to marine conservation projects.


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