Creating Green Bond Markets – Insights, Innovations, and Tools from Emerging Markets

The research was undertaken by IFC and the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) on behalf of the Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) Green Bond Working Group.

The report draws on:

  • A survey of over 22 emerging markets (of which 20 are SBN member countries) 
  • 9 case studies – from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region 
  • A review of 13 country and regional green bond frameworks3 that have been launched or are in development.

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The report offers the first ever Green Bond Market Development Toolkit (, to assist regulators in developing countries to more effectively plan their national green bond development strategies and collaborate with other market actors. The Toolkit includes:

  • A set of Common Objectives 
  • A Self-assessment and Planning Matrix, which enables policymakers to evaluate their plan of action on 4 pillars of capital market development (Market infrastructure, Guidance, Issuance, Capacity building) 
  • A Roadmap with Common Milestones 
  • A Capacity Building Needs Assessment with a mapping of existing international resources.


Key findings:

  • New regulations and market-level guidance is enabling rapid growth and innovation in green bond issuance in emerging markets, helping to achieve the global climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Policy makers are promoting harmonization, as indicated by the 13 national or regional green bond frameworks reviewed for this report, which all substantially align to or directly reference international standards, including the Green Bond Principles (GBP) and the Climate Bonds Standard to varying extents
  • Eligibility of assets and projects are mostly indicated through broad categories, signalling a gap of adoption of consistent and tight green definitions
  • More effort is needed to raise awareness and build capacity – with strong emphasis on the need for capacity building for issuers (especially banks), investors, verifiers, and policymakers
  • SBN members have shown once again that it is possible to unite a wide array of countries in support of sustainable finance, in this case to accelerate green bond market development with a collective ambition and a consistent approach.


Download full report now.