Bloomberg Law
Jan. 23, 2023, 8:14 PM

Barclays Sees Real Greenwashing Risk in ESG Debt-Swap Market (2)

Natasha White
Natasha White
Bloomberg News

As cash-strapped emerging-market countries explore the option of debt relief in exchange for commitments to preserve nature, researchers at Barclays Plc say that some of the labeling smacks of greenwashing.

“At first glance, this is a win-win solution — heavily indebted countries can reduce debt and interest burdens, while resources can be directed towards conservation projects that support overarching nature-related goals,” Barclays analysts including Charlotte Edwards and Maggie O’Neal said in a client note on Monday. “However, tackling debt burdens and climate goals together is not always ideal.”

There’s evidence that the amount of money that goes toward the nature ...