Source: Photo from Unsplash.
The World Bank curates and maintains a wide range of ESG data for policy makers, financial market participants and academic researchers. Use this portal to explore how countries compare to each other, create country profiles and learn about the latest research on ESG.
Stepping out of the comfort zone: What’s next for sustainability-linked financing?
Chile and Uruguay broke new ground this year by selling bonds whose costs will be linked to meeting climate sustainability goals. On its $2 billion borrowing in March, Chile will have to pay more interest if it misses targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions and expanding renewable energy. In the case of Uruguay’s $1.5 billion October issue, the rates will rise or fall depending on whether the country meets emissions and forest targets.Read more
Sustainable Finance Architecture to Scale Investments in Climate Action
This event will discuss how global sustainable finance architecture reforms and development of the innovative financing tools and processes can help unlock climate finance, and what impact they would have on emerging markets, global and national development/climate agenda. The event will showcase how the World Bank Group is working with global partners to build an enabling framework to leverage climate finance for emerging market and developing economies (including International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and Network for Greening Financial Sector (NGFS)), and will provide regional examples related to the implementation of these reforms in the context of the specific initiatives and projects.Read more
Could a sovereign sustainability-linked bond help protect the Amazon? Part 2
In an upcoming publication “An Economic Memorandum for the Brazilian Amazon” we introduce the concept of a model-based KPI. The key idea here is that outcome and performance are not the same. Performance is the difference between an observed outcome and would have been expected, based on a forward-looking statistical model.Read more
Striking the right note: KPI for sovereign SLBs
Governments in many countries are looking for innovative financial instruments to address the triple crisis of unprecedented debt levels, climate change and nature loss. Sovereign bonds – representing almost 40% of the $100 trillion global bond market -- are the largest asset class in many institutional investors’ portfolios. They are one of the key instruments for channeling capital to emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). Yet many developing countries are unable to deploy the capital needed to take action to avoid negative impacts of climate shocks and nature loss, particularly following the pandemic crisis.Read more
The New Sovereign ESG Data Portal
Since the launch of our Sovereign ESG Data Portal (BETA) back in 2019, the ESG investing space has grown by leaps and bounds. ESG has become such a central point of discussion that it's hard to find a financial newspaper doesn't feature an article about climate, sustainability or green finance on its front page.Read more
The Economic and Social Rights Performance Score
The Economic and Social Rights Performance Score is one of the new indicators in the Sovereign ESG data portal. This dataset was developed by the Human Rights Measurment Initiative and that quantifies the Quality of Life across five dimensions. Right to education, right to food, right to health, right to housing and right to work. These scores measure how well a country is using its resources to ensure people's economic and social rights are fulfilled. By nature of its constructuion, the score automatically adjusts for the ingrained income bias.Read more
Wealth Accounting — The Long-term View
Wealth accounting—the balance sheet for a country—captures the value of all the assets that generate income and support human well-being. Gross domestic product (GDP) indicates how much monetary income or output a country creates in a year; wealth indicates the value of the underlying national assetsRead more
Putting data to work
Finding your Peers: Comparing Countries on a Level Playing Field
The peer comparison method provides a robust, transparent and intuitive way to assess whether a country's sustainability performance was extraordinary or nothing special — compared to its peers. It allows investors to link financial incentives with key performance indicators and reward “better-than-expected” performance.Read more
Lower middle income
Europe & Central Asia
Population growth (annual %)
Surface area (sq. km)
GDP (current US$)
GDP growth (annual %)
GDP per capita (current US$)
Inflation, consumer prices (annual %)
Human Capital Index (HCI) (scale 0-1)
CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita)
For a full list of our research, see our Publications page.
An ongoing challenge with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts is access to robust data. In response, commercial data providers are continually developing solutions to improve insight. Here the authors discuss one of these potential improvements: the use of geospatial data within ESG focusing on the environmental (E) aspect. Geospatial data can, and is, being used for social (S), and governance (G) purposes, but these are beyond the scope of this paper. This paper explores and tests with real-world examples the potential of geospatial data approaches as means to provide additional insights into the environmental impacts of specific assets, companies, states or nations for sovereign debt investment. Starting with the current data landscape, the document runs through the open ‘environmental’ geospatial data portfolio, outlining its strengths and weaknesses. From this vantage point, the report outlines three case studies in Brazil across differing scales, highlighting various key metrics. The first looks at an asset level example, mining operations; secondly a corporate level example looking at soya production (where asset data is unavailable); and finally a national scale example for sovereign debt insights. Throughout the paper, commercial actors provide technical illustrations as to what more would be possible with additional resources. The document demonstrates that it is possible, even with limited resources and only open data, to generate robust geospatial ESG insights that often can be scaled globally – aiding financial institutions to better differentiate environmental impact at different scales and across different applications The paper concludes by discussing the various future technical developments, highlighting real-world developments, such as eDNA and machine learning, and their implications for the future of geospatial ESG. Finally, the authors look at a breakdown of the critical components of geospatial ESG tools, showing where they fall on a spectrum, with most underutilizing the technical toolkit available. As a result of this potential technical growth, combined with greater demand from the financial sector, they expect to see a rapid development of more refined geospatial ESG products and insights in the near future.
Feb 24, 2022 Blog Full report