Blue Finance

IFC is a global leader in financing the blue market and economy.

Waterways and oceans are critical for human existence and a cornerstone of the global economy,  representing jobs and food for millions of people around the world. Many countries already facing climate threats, such as more intense cyclones and droughts, sea level rise, and water acidification, greatly depend on the blue economy for adaptation and resilience support. Keeping our marine ecosystems healthy is not just good for the environment but it is directly linked to alleviating poverty and climate resilience. 

The financial and private sectors have a critical role to play in pivoting the global economic system toward preserving and increasing clean water resources, rebuilding ocean prosperity, restoring biodiversity, and regenerating ocean health.


Blue finance is an emerging area in climate finance with increased interest from investors, financial institutions, and issuers globally. It offers tremendous opportunities to help safeguard our access to clean water, protect underwater environments, and invest in a sustainable water economy. Blue Bonds and Blue Loans are financing instruments that raise and earmark funds for investments such as water and wastewater management, reducing ocean plastic pollution, marine ecosystem restoration, sustainable shipping, eco-friendly tourism, or offshore renewable energy.

IFC recognizes the untapped potential for its clients to grow their blue financing products and services. IFC works with financial institution clients, partners, other development finance institutions, corporates, to develop a systematic global blue economy finance market.


Since 2020, IFC has provided more than $1.53 billion dollars in blue loans and bonds to private institutions, recognizing the untapped potential for clients to grow their blue financing products and services.

IFC facilitated the first Blue Bonds issued in the East Asia Pacific region, helping countries adopt blue finance.

IFC also issued the first blue financing loan in Central and Eastern Europe to increase funding for blue economy projects in Romania.

  • The landmark €100 million loan has been provided by IFC for Banca Transilvania SA (BT), the largest bank in the country. 
  • In Turkiye, we provided a $120 million blue and green loan to Yapı Kredi Leasing, a leading Turkish leasing company that will help increase access to climate finance for small businesses in areas such as climate mitigation and adaptation financing.

In 2022,  IFC made two pioneer commitments in Latin American blue finance.

At COP 28 in Dubai, we announced a new blue bond strategy with T. Rowe Price to enhance a sustainable blue economy for emerging markets. We are currently exploring blue economy market opportunities in Africa.

On World Water Day 2024, IFC announced the issuance of its first green bond designed to promote ocean-friendly projects and critical clean water resource protection in developing countries. The five-year, fixed-rate, 2 billion Norwegian krone bond—equivalent to $187 million—offers investors the opportunity to join in financing IFC projects that promote access to water and basic sanitation, such as providing sewage services in Brazil and promoting sustainable fishing in Ecuador.  


Blue bonds and blue loans have not yet adopted and implemented industry standards and guidelines. The market has been seeking guidance on project eligibility criteria, translating general blue economy financing principles into guidelines for blue bond issuances and blue lending.

  • In 2022, IFC published Guidelines for Blue Finance to provide advice on blue project eligibility criteria; blue issuances; and blue lending in line with ICMA’s Green Bond Principles and Green Loan Principles and SDG 6 and 14. These guidelines continue to be useful for IFC and beyond as more stakeholders adopt this guidance.  In September 2023, The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became the first regulator to issue blue finance guidelines, based on IFC’s Blue Finance Guidance.
  • In 2023, IFC released a paper titled Blue Carbon Finance in Coastal Ecosystems. These standard-setting documents are not only helping guide IFC’s investments to support the blue economy. They offer practical guidance to financial institutions for investing in blue carbon projects and blue finance, with a view to helping unlock trillions of dollars in the ocean economy.
  • At the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, a working group of five international organizations committed to launch global guidance on blue bonds.  IFC, ADB, UNEP FI, UN Global Compact, and ICMA developed a comprehensive global practitioner's guidance on blue bonds to build investor confidence and catalyze investments. The guidance provides information on launching a credible "blue bond," how to evaluate the environmental impact of "blue bond" investments; and the steps needed to facilitate transactions that preserve the integrity of the market.
  • IFC’s Green Bond Framework was revised in 2023 to incorporate blue economy projects.


Pushkala Lakshmi Ratan
Principal Industry Specialist (Asia)
+65 65013619
Elena Gex
Senior Communications Officer, Financial Institutions
+1 (202) 250-1012