The National Treasury Management Agency said yesterday it plans to issue its first "green bond" during the final quarter.

A market source said the green bond could raise between €2-3 billion and will follow a series of meetings with investors over the next two weeks.

The debt agency first flagged its plans to diversify into the increasingly popular category of green securities earlier this year. 

Last month it said it would hold roadshows in the coming weeks to brief investors on the green bonds, which raise capital for projects with environmental benefits. 

The NTMA and government representatives met investors in Paris on Monday and will travel to London and Scandanavia later this week before a further meeting in Dublin next week, the source said.

The bond, which the NTMA plans to issue in the next three months subject to market conditions, will be sold via a syndication of banks, it said in a statement. 

Although green bonds make up a small fraction of the overall bond market, global interest has soared as banks, sovereigns and companies look to tap the appetite for climate-friendly investments. 

Global green bond issuance hit a record $155.5 billion in 2017, surpassing previous estimates, and could reach $250-$300 billln this year, research from the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) showed in January. 

The NTMA has so far raised €13.5 billion of the €14-18 billion it plans to issue in long-term debt this ear, and will also hold one more regular bond auction on November 8.