Green, Social, and Sustainability Bonds in Cambodia: Status and Prospects in Q1 2024

Varabott Ho Professor
CamEd Business School


The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) is deeply committed to combating climate change and fulfilling its obligations under the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the nation aims at significant climate adaptation and mitigation, financial strategies including Green Bonds are considered pivotal. Despite their potential, only a limited number of bonds have been issued, with none qualifying as Green Bonds, highlighting a major opportunity for growth and impact. The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 marked a global consensus on reducing climate change effects, focusing on low-carbon initiatives such as Green Bonds. These bonds are part of a broader category known as Thematic Bonds, which fund projects with explicit environmental and social benefits. Despite their growing popularity, challenges such as high issuance costs and complex regulatory frameworks are notable, especially in emerging markets like Cambodia. The International Capital Market Association (ICMA)1 sets guidelines and standards for issuing bonds to achieve social and environmental objectives. In addition to the Green Bond Principles (GBP), which are designed for bonds financing environmentally friendly projects, ICMA has developed additional frameworks