Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues

Project description

Title: Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD III)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global project; priority areas in China and Mexico
Term: 2014 to 2021



The transition towards a sustainable future is a global challenge. The targets that the international community has set with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) and the Paris Agreement can only be achieved if emerging economies also play their part. While emerging economies already play a key role in shaping global agendas thanks to the size of their populations and their increasing economic power, the potential solutions they develop are still not given sufficient attention in global policy processes and few are implemented. What’s more, the necessary transformation can only succeed if actors from all areas work together – from the public and private sector to financial institutions and think tanks.


Emerging economies successfully implement sustainability solutions in the areas of finance, infrastructure and digitalisation on a large scale. The special knowledge and perspectives of global development partners such as China, India or Mexico are systematically taken on board in order to achieve sustainability and climate targets for the good of all.


The Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) project is a network of experts and decision-makers from think tanks, multinational companies and the finance sector. The members work together to develop and implement solutions for economically successful, socially inclusive and ecologically responsible development in emerging economies. The global project presents these solutions at national and international forums, thereby supporting the global transition to greater sustainability. The project views itself as an incubator and knowledge platform for new themes in international cooperation for sustainable development. Since 2019, the focus has been on three themes: finance, infrastructure and digital solutions. 

The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement are both the framework for action and a source of inspiration for the project.


Since 2014, the project has been successfully supporting key actors in emerging economies in implementing their approaches to sustainability challenges and incorporating them into international transformation processes. Here are a few examples: 

  • Finance: Emerging economies have built up technical expertise regarding green bonds. These climate bonds use investor money to contribute to new wind farms, for instance. The project worked together with the investment bank SEB to set up this scheme. In concrete terms, more than 300 financial market actors – including banks, investors and regulators – were trained and advised on green bonds. As a result, environmental and transparency standards have been anchored in financial market practices. 
  • Infrastructure: In cooperation with the China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), sustainability guidelines for Chinese construction companies in international infrastructure projects were developed for the first time. These standards ensure that construction projects across the globe always take the requirements of people and the environment into account. For example, in Africa, where about one third of all infrastructure investment since 2008 comes from China.
  • Digital solutions: With the support of EMSD, emerging economies submitted seven proposed solutions to the German G20 presidency in 2017. These included findings regarding the effect of digitalisation on labour markets in emerging economies and the question of how policy-makers intend to respond to the findings in terms of creating good and fair work.

Additional information