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Sarah Colenbrander

Director of Programme

  • Leadership Team
  • Climate and Sustainability
Portrait of Sarah Colenbrander

Sarah is the Director of ODI's Climate and Sustainability programme. She is an environmental economist who has supported policy-makers across Asia, Africa and Latin America to develop low-carbon development strategies.

Before joining ODI, Sarah was Head of Global Programmes for the Coalition for Urban Transitions – a network of 35 organisations (including ODI) that supports national governments to identify and implement the deep structural shifts needed to foster productive, inclusive, sustainable cities. She was the lead author of Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity, the report that underpinned the Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action track of the 2019 UN Climate Summit.

Sarah has also worked on climate change mitigation in cities, energy and forestry at IIED, the University of Leeds and Forests Alive. She has co-authored a wide range of academic papers, as well as reports for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UN Environment and the World Bank.

Sarah is an associate of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and a guest lecturer at the University of Oxford, University College London and the University of Manchester. Sarah holds a Masters in Environment and Development from Trinity College, Dublin.

  1. Think Change episode 11: what’s causing the energy crisis?

  2. A fair share of climate finance? An appraisal of past performance, future pledges and prospective contributors

    Working papers

  3. Country platforms for climate action: something borrowed, something new?

    Emerging analysis

  4. Surfacing perceptions of equity in the finance themes of the Global Stocktake

    Research reports

  5. Identifying, managing and disclosing climate-related financial risks: options for the Reserve Bank of India

    Research reports

  6. An Analytical Review: A Decade of Urban Resilience


  7. Our thoughts on COP26 – reflections on the Glasgow Climate Pact

  8. Carbon markets and standards: a new agenda for LDC negotiators

    Briefing/policy papers

  9. Aligning climate finance and Aid for Trade: a new agenda for LDC negotiators

    Briefing/policy papers

  10. How the UK’s Comprehensive Spending Review risks jeopardising COP26

  11. A fair share of climate finance: apportioning responsibility for the $100 billion climate finance goal

    Working papers

  12. The role of central banks in tackling climate change


  13. The costs of climate change in India: a review of the climate-related risks facing India, and their economic and social costs

    Literature reviews

  14. A fair share of climate finance? An initial effort to apportion responsibility for the $100 billion climate finance goal


  15. Making the G7 summit a success


  16. Delivering a successful G7 summit in the context of a climate emergency

  17. Five expert views on China’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060

  18. Missed opportunities in the UK budget to support global development

  19. An exposé of Trump’s finances: ending US public support for the fossil fuel industry

  20. Combatting climate change with nature-based solutions