Canada publishes Green Bond Framework in advance of inaugural issuance

News release

March 3, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Government of Canada published its Green Bond Framework, in advance of an inaugural green bond issuance of $5 billion in fiscal year 2021-22. This inaugural issuance sets the path for future issuances, beyond this first highly-rated offering.

Green bonds will support Canada’s green transition by offering investment opportunities in both climate and environmental measures, while also fostering the development of Canada’s sustainable finance market.

Mobilizing private sector investment will play a critical role in Canada meeting its 2030 emissions reduction target, and in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. New financing opportunities will speed up projects ranging from green infrastructure, clean tech innovation, nature conservancy, and more, while also growing Canada’s economy and creating new, good-paying jobs across the country.

The Green Bond Framework is aligned with international green bond principles and market expectations. Eligible programs and expenditures will deliver significant environmental benefits, including lower greenhouse gas emissions, expanded clean transportation, and an increase in Canada’s renewable energy production. The green bond framework could include measures that support the affordability of clean energy.


“Canada’s inaugural green bond issuance is an important opportunity for Canadian and international investors to participate in the funding of major projects that will contribute to a sustainable economy and future in Canada. The government looks forward to this inaugural issuance in the coming weeks.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“This is a major step in our Government’s plan to grow the sustainable finance market in Canada and mobilize private capital in support of climate action. Green bonds give investors the opportunity to support Canada’s climate and environmental measures, while taking advantage of emerging market opportunities. They are a key component of the Government of Canada’s economic approach to transition the country to net-zero.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 announced that the government would publish a green bond framework in advance of issuing its first green bond in 2021-22, with a targeted inaugural issuance of $5 billion.

  • The Framework defines eligibility criteria and provides example expenditures aligned with the International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles (GBP) in the following nine areas:

    • Clean Transportation;
    • Living Natural Resources & Land Use;
    • Energy Efficiency;
    • Terrestrial & Aquatic Biodiversity;
    • Renewable Energy;
    • Climate Change Adaptation;
    • Sustainable Water & Wastewater Management;
    • Circular Economy Adapted Products, Production, Technologies and Processes; and
    • Pollution Prevention & Control. 
  • Canada’s green bonds will help create a more mature market for investors who are looking for green investment opportunities with a highly-rated credit rating, and will contribute to the development of a stronger Canadian sustainable finance market.

  • Sustainalytics, an independent ESG research group, concluded that Canada’s Green Bond Framework is a credible and transparent plan to deliver positive environmental benefits, and aligns with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles.

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Department of Finance Canada

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