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Sarah Colenbrander

Director of Climate and Sustainability programme

  • Leadership Team
  • Climate and Sustainability
Portrait of Sarah Colenbrander

Sarah is the Director of ODI's Climate and Sustainability programme. She leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on transforming agricultural, energy and urban systems to reach net-zero emissions, as well as mobilising the finance to achieve these transitions.

Sarah is an environmental economist by training, specialising in climate change mitigation in cities. Over the last fifteen years, she has supported policymakers across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania and Latin America to develop low-carbon development and investment strategies. Questions of social and environmental justice are at the heart of all her research and advisory work.

Sarah 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 (IPCC), UN Environment and the World Bank. She is 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. It's not about the money: grappling with non-economic loss and damage

  2. What do we have to lose? Understanding and responding to climate-induced loss and damage to cultural heritage

    Research reports

  3. Who should provide climate finance? Answering a hard question with some hard numbers

  4. Inauspicious conditions for COP27 climate negotiations contrast with a supportive environment for climate policy

  5. Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Transformation


  6. A theory of change for joined-up policymaking in low- and middle-income countries

    Working papers

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

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

    Working papers

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

    Emerging analysis

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

    Research reports

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

    Research reports

  12. An Analytical Review: A Decade of Urban Resilience


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

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

    Briefing/policy papers

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

    Briefing/policy papers

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

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

    Working papers

  18. The role of central banks in tackling climate change


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

    Literature reviews

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