This work will feed into a larger project examining how financial actors and cities can best collaborate to finance the achievement of the sustainability-related goals of Swedish cities.

The study involved a review of the sustainable finance literature and an appraisal of the use of proceeds, impact reports and second party opinions on bonds labelled as sustainable in the Environmental Finance database using a sustainable city framework to understand how the proceeds were being allocated. As of 2 August 2019, the database contained 3916 labelled bonds, of which 3616 were designated green (93%), 134 social (3%) and 166 sustainable (4%). In addition, given its importance in the transition to low-carbon, resilient societies, as highlighted by OECD in its report on financing climate futures, the authors carried out research on the topic of sustainable cities.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the barriers to the uptake of sustainable bonds. Chapter 3 reviews what defines city level sustainability and assesses whether the structure of existing city level sustainable bonds meets these criteria. Chapter 4 outlines the next steps in our work, which will be carried out in a project funded by the Viable cities programme.