Muni bond ESG intel service launches

Data around climate risk and potential default can help investors amid a rise in natural disasters

Data provider UrbanFootprint and insurance company Assured Guaranty are preparing an ESG information service catered to the muni bond market, the companies recently announced.

Municipal Bond Insights is designed to help investors evaluate climate risk and other factors amid a rise in extreme weather events that cost the US an estimated $145bn in damages across 20 natural disasters in 2021, the firms stated. Such events can lead to higher rates of defaults.

“As climate change continues to accelerate the severity and regularity of extreme weather events, public finance institutions are seeking solutions to include climate and community resilience metrics in risk assessment for their portfolios,” UrbanFootprint CEO Joe DiStefano said in the announcement.

Assured Garanty has been using UrbanFootprint’s methodology for more than a year to analyze climate risks in its portfolio of insured bonds, the company said.