What's the role of fixed income in financing nature-based solutions?


The annual Top Tier Impact investment Summit (TTI) on Nature & Biodiversity, hosted by Howard Kennedy in June 2024, brought together senior figures from asset managers, investment banks to startup founders. One of the key questions addressed during the event was: "What’s the role of fixed income in financing nature-based solutions?"

The panel discussion explored how integrating nature-based solutions (NBS) into fixed income investments can foster resilience and sustainability. Key themes included evolving ESG investment strategies, the importance of sovereign risk assessments, and the necessity for standardised practices in the carbon market.

Key takeaways

The integration of nature-based solutions (NBS) into fixed income investments presents significant opportunities for fostering resilience and sustainability. However, realising this potential requires overcoming several hurdles. Key themes included evolving ESG investment strategies, the importance of sovereign risk assessments, and the necessity for standardised practices in the carbon market.

 Evolving ESG Investment Strategies

ESG investment strategies are continuously evolving, encompassing screening, integration, thematic investing, and engagement. These strategies reflect an increasing recognition of the need to incorporate environmental and social factors into investment decisions. The importance of sovereign risk assessments was particularly noted, given the potential default risks that could impact numerous countries. This underscores the necessity for investors to consider geopolitical and economic factors within ESG frameworks.

Nature-Based Solutions: Frameworks and Challenges

Incorporating NBS into fixed income investments involves developing flexible frameworks that mitigate environmental harm and promote positive impacts on nature. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has pioneered such a framework. However, challenges remain in establishing revenue streams and creating an enabling environment for these investments. The need for value creation and quantification is crucial to attract clients and make NBS investments viable.

Standardisation and Governance in Environmental Investing

Standardisation and governance are critical in the environmental sector, particularly in the carbon market. Matching buyers and sellers can be challenging, highlighting the need for standardised language and terms to facilitate effective communication and collaboration. Data quality and regulatory changes also play vital roles in scaling up sustainable investments. The complexities of measuring carbon credits, especially in indigenous communities, further emphasise the need for robust governance and an understanding of local contexts.

Valuing Nature and Aligning Revenue Targets

Valuing ecosystem services is essential for recognising the economic potential of preserving and enhancing natural ecosystems. For instance, the market valuation of ecosystem services in the Bahamas is estimated at $150 billion. However, aligning revenue targets across asset classes remains a significant challenge. Capacity building on both the supply and demand sides is necessary, along with defining and aligning these targets to promote effective nature conservation.

Nature Metrics and Bond Issuance

Integrating nature metrics in bond issuance is a strategy to mitigate environmental harm and enhance nature positivity. By incorporating these metrics, investors can ensure their investments contribute to sustainability. This approach requires developing robust frameworks and reliable data to quantify the impacts of investments on nature, necessitating ongoing refinement and innovation in these tools.


Integrating nature-based solutions into fixed income investments offers substantial opportunities for enhancing resilience and sustainability. However, achieving this requires addressing challenges related to revenue generation, standardisation, governance, and data quality. The insights from recent discussions underscore the need for continued innovation and collaboration to unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions in sustainable investing.

About TTI 

Top Tier Impact (TTI) is a global network of investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals focused on solving the world's most pressing challenges through impact investing and sustainability. TTI facilitates the flow of capital into impactful ventures and promotes collaboration among leaders in the field.

Panel Speakers:

  • Martina Macpherson, Head of ESG Product Strategy & Management at SIX
  • Dr Rachael Barza, Associate Director, Lead Climate Adaptation and Nature Finance at EBRD
  • Dr Ralph Chami, CEO & Founder at Blue Green Future LLC
  • Gwen Yu, Head of Nature and Biodiversity at JPMorgan Chase
  • Moderator: Ilkay Demirdag, Head of Global Events at Top Tier Impact