World Bank launches a ‘green’ index that tracks carbon efficiency in emerging economies

The private sector arm of the World Bank today launched the first ever eco-friendly stock market index that allows investors to track the carbon efficiency of companies doing business in emerging economies.

In partnership with the giant financial services corporation Standard and Poor’s (S&P), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) established the S&P/IFC Investable Emerging Markets Index expecting it to mobilize more than $1 billion for carbon-efficient companies over the next three years.

The pioneering index is meant to encourage carbon-based competition among emerging-market businesses, give carbon-efficient companies access to long-term investors and result in lower carbon emissions in developing countries, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of investors’ portfolios.

“With growing pressure on investors to diversify and maintain returns by increasing exposure to emerging markets, and with more and more investors keen to demonstrate a preference for sustainability… IFC hopes that the launch of this index will help ensure that carbon efficiency is rewarded,” said IFC Vice-President for Business Advisory Services Rachel Kyte.

The announcement comes on the fourth day of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, where over 100 heads of State and government are slated to convene next week in a bid to wrap up an international pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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