Major European asset owners are among the backers of a $1.42bn (€1.15bn) green bond fund – believed to be the largest such fund launch to date. 

Swedish pension funds Alecta, AP3 and AP4 along with France’s ERAFP are among a number of European pension funds to have invested in the emerging markets fund launched by Amundi and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The Amundi Planet Emerging Green One (EGO) aims to increase the capacity of emerging market banks to fund “climate-smart” investments. The IFC is a cornerstone investor in EGO with a commitment of $256m.

Alongside the Swedish and French investors, capital also came from Austria’s APK Pensionkasse and APK Vorsorgekasse, MP Pension, and insurance companies Crédit Agricole and LocalTapiola, Amundi said.

Philippe Le Houérou, chief executive of the IFC, said: “The global market for green bonds has expanded rapidly in recent years, totaling more than $155bn in 2017, but few banks in developing countries have issued such bonds.

“IFC and Amundi expect this new fund to encourage more local financial institutions to issue green bonds, by increasing global demand and building local markets.”

The fund is to run until 2025 and is listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Amundi said the fund was the first of its kind to take a holistic approach by investing in emerging market green bonds, while also helping to create a robust green bond market with capacity-building activities.

As well as its investment, the IFC will run a technical assistance programme including the provision of training for bankers.

Besides the IFC, other development finance entities including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and France’s Proparco are also among investors in the fund.

Gregory Clemente, CEO of Proparco, described EGO as “an exemplary initiative”.

“Proparco is proud to be the largest contributor in Amundi Planet EGO mezzanine tranche as this investment plays a key role in catalysing investments from institutional investors with a lower knowledge of emerging and developing countries, thereby creating the biggest climate finance fund operating in these markets,” he said.