Our Research

Our research connects up-to-date research with real world decision-making processes in climate finance and sustainability finance and policy in order to enable increased ambition in acting against climate change and contribute to finding sustainable and equitable solutions. Our mission is to support the academic community, governments, businesses and financial decision-makers from the public and private sector to drive economic growth while addressing climate change and sustainability research.

Our team has extensive experience in the areas of economics, international climate and sustainable finance and policy. This expertise covers a broad range of areas from sector and country-specific in-depth insights to international climate policies. We seek to enhance and foster knowledge sharing and exchange with other research facilities and individuals around the globe.

Research Areas

The FS-UNEP Centre’s research covers challenges surrounding finance in the light of the climate crisis. Research areas include:

  • Role of financial markets for low-carbon and climate-resilient investments;
  • Impacts of policies and incentives on a macro level on investors’ financing decisions;
  • Energy and climate policy in emerging and developing countries;
  • National determined contribution (NDCs) implementation
  • Interaction between policy instruments and their resilience to external shocks; and
  • Sustainable finance and scenario analysis for financial decision making.

We apply research-oriented, robust approaches, reflecting to on-the-ground realities. Our research activities are linked with the actual project implementation. This allows our research team to provide facts-based analysis and practical guidance not only relevant for academia but also public and private decision-makers.

Peer-reviewed articles

Baccianti, C., Schenker, O., 2022. Cournot, Pigou, and Ricardo walk in a bar: Unilateral environmental policy and leakage with market power and firm heterogeneity, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 9(6), 1161–1195.

Pauw, W., Kempa, L., Moslener, U., Grüning, C., Cevik, C., 2022. A focus on market imperfections can help governments to mobilize private investments in adaptation, Climate and Development 14(1), 91-97.

Dumrose, M., Rink, S. and Eckert, J., 2022. Disaggregating confusion? The EU Taxonomy and its
relation to ESG rating, Finance Research Letters 48, 102928.

Pauw, W.P., Moslener, U., Zamarioli, L.H., Amerasinghe, H., Atela, J., Affana, J.P.B., et al. (2022), Post-2025 climate finance target: how much more and how much better?, Climate Policy (forthcoming).

Kempa, K., Moslener, U., Schenker, O., 2021. The cost of debt of renewable and non-renewable energy firms, Nature Energy 6, 134-142.

Fischer, C., Hübler, M., Schenker, O., 2021. More birds than stones —A framework for second-best energy and climate policy adjustments, Journal of Public Economics 203, 104515.

Pauw, W., Kempa, L., Moslener, U., Grüning, C., Cevik, C., 2021. A focus on market imperfections can help governments to mobilize private investments in adaptation, Climate and Development 14(1), 91-97.

Bechtoldt, M.N., Götmann, A., Moslener, U. &. Pauw, W.P. (2021). Addressing the climate change adaptation puzzle: A psychological science perspective, Climate Policy 21:2, 186-202.

Kempa, K., Moslener, U., 2020. If a Measure Becomes a Target: How Maximizing Mobilized Private Climate Finance May Backfire, Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht 43(1), 26-40.

Stender, F., Moslener, U., Pauw, W., 2020. More than money: does climate finance support capacity building? Applied Economics Letters 27 (15), 1247-1251.

Haas, C., Kempa, K., 2018. Directed Technical Change and Energy Intensity Dynamics: Structural Change vs. Energy Efficiency, Energy Journal 39(4), 127-151.

Schenker, O., Koesler, S., Löschel, A., 2018. On the Effects of Unilateral Environmental Policy on Offshoring in Multi-Stage Production Processes, Canadian Journal of Economics 51(4), 1221-1256.

Hoffmann, F., Inderst, R., Moslener, U., 2017. Taxing Externalities under Financing Constraints, Economic Journal 127(606), 2478-2503.

Kempa, K., Moslener, U., 2017. Climate Policy with the Chequebook: an Economic Analysis of Climate Investment Support, Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy 6(1), 111-129.

Flues, F., Löschel, A., Lutz, B., Schenker, O., 2014. Designing an EU Energy and Climate Policy Portfolio for 2030: Implications of Overlapping Regulation under Different Levels of Electricity Demand, Energy Policy 75, 91-99.

Schenker, O., Stephan, G., 2014. Give and Take: how the Funding of Adaptation to Climate Change can Improve the Donor’s Terms-of-Trade, Ecological Economics 106, 44-55.

Schenker, O., 2013. Exchanging Goods and Damages: The Role of Trade on the Distribution of Climate Change Costs, Environmental and Resource Economics 54(2), 261-282.

Kostka, G., Moslener, U., Andreas, J., 2013. Barriers to increasing energy efficiency: evidence from small-and medium-sized enterprises in China, Journal of Cleaner Production 57, 59-68.

Böhringer, C., Moslener, U., Oberndorfer, U., Ziegler, A., 2012. Clean and Productive? Empirical Evidence from the German Manufacturing Industry, Research Policy 41(2), 442-451.

Löschel, A., Moslener, U., Rübbelke, D., 2010. E Indicators of energy security in industrialised countries, Energy Policy 38(4), 1607-1608.

Böhringer, C., Löschel, A., Moslener, U., Rutherford, T., 2009. EU Climate Policy Up to 2020: an Economic Impact Assessment, Energy Economics 31(Supl. 2), 295-305.

Moslener, U., Sturm, B., 2008. A European Perspective on Recent Trends in U.S. Climate Policy, European Environment 18(5), 257-275.

Moslener, U., Sturm, B., 2008. Aktuelle US-Klimapolitik: was kommt nach Georg W. Busch?, Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht 31(3), 417-428.

Böhringer, C., Koschel, H., Moslener, U., 2008. Efficiency Losses from Overlapping Regulation of EU Carbon Emissions, Journal of Regulatory Economics 33(3), 299-317.

Brandt-Pollmann, U., Winkler, R., Sager, S., Moslener, U., Schlöder, J., 2008. Numerical Solution of Optimal Control Problems with Constant Control Delays, Computational Economics 31(2), 181-206.

Dannenberg, A., Mennel, T., Moslener, U., 2008. What Does Europe Pay for Clean Energy? Review of Macroeconomic Simulation Studies, Energy Policy 36(4), 1318-1330.

Böhringer, C., Moslener, U., Sturm, B., 2007. Hot Air for Sale: a Quantitative Assessment of Russia’s Near-Term Climate Policy Options, Environmental and Resource Economics 38(4), 545-572.

Anger, N., Böhringer, C., Moslener, U., 2007. Macroeconomic Impacts of the CDM: the Role of Investment Barriers and Regulations, Climate Policy 7(6), 500-517.

Moslener, U., Requate, T., 2007. Optimal Abatement in Dynamic Multi-Pollutant Problems when Pollutants can be Complements or Substitutes, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 31(7), 2293-2316.

Böhringer, C., Klaassen, G., Moslener, U., 2007. Technology transfer and investment risk in international emissions trading, Climate Policy 7(6), 467-469.

Böhringer, C., Hoffmann, T., Lange, A., Löschel, A., Moslener, U., 2005. Assessing Emission Allocation in Europe: an Interactive Simulation Approach, Energy Journal 26(4), 1-21.

Lange, A., Moslener, U., 2004. A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush?: When Do We Prefer Something Certainly Dirty to Something Perhaps Clean?, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 29(1), 35-51.

Working papers

Osberghaus, D., Schenker, O. 2022. International Trade and the Transmission of Temperature Shocks.

Kempa, K., Tyagi, A., 2022. Climate and Environmental Impacts of a COVID-19 Green Recovery: Lessons Learned from the Financial Crisis.

Haas, C., Kempa, K., 2022. Low-Carbon Investment and Credit Rationing.

Neupert-Zhuang, M., Nilgen, M. 2022. Do ecolabels for financial products suffice on their own? An experiment on how sustainability information affects investor preferences.

Neupert-Zhuang, M., Schenker, O. 2022. Intentionally Holding Potential Stranded Assets in the Portfolio – Policy Uncertainty and Investments in the Power Market.

Haas, C., 2022. Climate, Technology, and Comparative Development in the Premodern Era.

Haas, C., Heyden, T., 2020. When equity fails – An appraisal of revenue sharing as the last resort.

Policy briefs, books, and other journal articles

Hüttl, P., Schenker, O., Schütze F., Tyagi A., 2022. The first ECB bottom-up climate stress test: Dealing with data gaps and methodological challenges. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

König, M., Emmerich, E., Menzel-Hausherr, C., Grüning, C. 2022. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Research on Green and Sustainable Finance Taxonomies: Introduction to Taxonomies and Global Initiatives

Valverde, M.J., Grüning, C., König, M., Menzel-Hausherr, C., Pauw, P. 2022. Tackling Climate Change through Policy-based finance: Options for the Green Climate Fund, Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre [Policy brief]

Pauw, W.P., König, M., Sadikhova, K. & Stutzmann, T. 2021. Financing low-carbon and climate resilient development: Do countries integrate Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement in their Long-Term Strategies? Frankfurt School- UNEP Centre [Policy brief]

Pauw, P., Beck, T., Valverde, M., Cassanmagnano, D., Mbeva, K. et. al. 2021. NDC Explorer. Version: 3.0. German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). Interactive Ressource [Policy brief]

Jürgens, I., Kempa, K., Klein, C., Marchewitz, C., Moslener, U., Neuhoff, K., Schenker, O., Schiemann, F., Schütze, F. 2021. The EU sustainable finance strategy – Implications for the future German Federal Government. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

Bossut, M., Jürgens, I., Pioch, T., Schiemann, F., Spandel, T., Tietmeyer, R., 2021. What Information is relevant for sustainability reporting? The concept of materiality and the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

Bossut, M., Jürgens, I., Hessenius, M., Pioch, T., Schiemann, F., Spandel, T., Tietmeyer, R., 2021. Why it would be important to expand the scope of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and make it work for SMEs. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

Kempa, K., Moslener, U., Neuhoff, K., Schenker, O., Schütze, F., 2021. Scenario Analysis as a Tool for Companies, Investors, and Regulators on the Path to Climate Neutrality. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

Kempa, K., 2021. Financing costs of renewable energy and fossil fuel firms: A reversal of fortunes?, Nature Behavioural and Social Sciences, Behind the Paper [Blog Post]

Löffler, K., Rink, S., 2020. Sustainable Finance – Silver Bullet für die Nachhaltigkeitstransformation?, ifo Schnelldienst 10/2020, pp. 7-10. [Article]

Zhuang, M., Löffler, K., Rink, S. 2020. Get ready: Regulatorische Entwicklungen hin zu einer nachhaltigen Finanzwirtschaft – Historie und Ausblick, Nachhaltige Finanzwirtschaft. Grundlagen und Konzepte für die Praxis, pp. 5-26. [Book chapter]

Moslener, U., & Zhuang, M., 2020. Renewable Energy, Climate Change, and Sustainability. In J. Böttcher (Ed.), Green Banking: Realising Renewable Energy Projects. De Gruyter Oldenbourg. [Book chapter]

Kempa, K., Moslener, U., Neuhoff, K., Schenker, O., Schütze, F., 2020. Sustainable Finance und die Transformation der Realwirtschaft – Klimaneutralität als zentrales Szenario. Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance [Policy brief]

Featured projects

Scenario Analysis as a Tool for InvestorS, Firms, and regulators on the path to climate neutralitY (SATISFY) : The Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre, the German Institute for Economic Research, and Justus-Liebig-University Gießen jointly conduct research on scenario analysis as a tool on the path to climate neutrality. The three-year project SATISFY will produce insights into how investors, firms, and regulators can use scenario analysis in the climate transformation of business models in carbon-intensive sectors and the entire economy.

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Tackling climate change through policy-based finance – Options for Green Climate Fund : The financing required to achieve the transformational change towards a net zero, climate-resilient economy will need to come from domestic and international, public and private sources (IEA 2021). Hereby the role of the public sector is key in stimulating and leveraging private investments, for instance, by creating an effective and enabling environment. This requires a rethinking of traditional project and programme investments and shifting towards a more holistic approach to improve the contribution of investment to economic, social and environmental welfare (Gordon 2002). To leverage available sources for climate investments, there is an urgent need to optimize policy, legal and regulatory frameworks (Kissinger et al. 2019).

Financing Low-Carbon and Climate Resilient Development : The herculean emission cuts that are required to limit global warming 1.5°C to 2°C above pre-industrial levels and the related investment needs, require countries to determine and plan long-term emission reduction pathways. The key to successful strategies is finance.

Article 4.19 of the Paris Agreement states that all Parties should strive to formulate and communicate ‘long-term low-emissions development strategies’ (LTS). This report analyses the extent to which finance, and Art. 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement in particular, are integral parts of the 32 LTS that have been submitted up to October 2021. The report also provides recommendations for countries that are still preparing their LTS on how to integrate Article 2.1(c) implementation.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment (GTR) is an annual publication that provides the latest comprehensive information about global investments in renewable energy. The GTR enables a deep dive into trends in global investments in renewable power and fuels, as well as analysis by asset class, technology and geography. The data is presented in the context of the political developments and the wider energy sector. UN Environment, FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance jointly publish the report.

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Monitor reviews the progress of the Green Climate Fund’s efforts to respond to the challenge of climate change. Each issue analyses and briefly describes a unique topic selected because of its high importance at the recent Board meeting or other relevant event. The monitor analyses data provided on the GCF website and builds on existing literature.

Download Edition 7: The Green Climate Fund’s contribution to the US$100 billion target

Special Issue: Making climate action more effective: lessons learned from the first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Almost all countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement, and many are in the process of updating their NDCs. It is crucial for the success of the Paris Agreement that the updated NDCs build on and learn from the first round of NDCs. This special issue in the journal of Climate Policy provides insights, and aims to stimulate debate, on how to strengthen NDC effectiveness. The special issue is edited by Pieter Pauw and Richard Klein.

Country-Ownership as the Means for Paradigm Shift: The case of the Green Climate Fund 

Zamarioli, L.H., Pauw, P., Gruening, C., 2020. Country Ownership as the Means for Paradigm Shift: The Case of the Green Climate Fund. Sustainability, Vol. 12 (14), 5714.

The climate consistency goal and the transformation of global finance  

Zamarioli, L.H., Pauw, P., König, M. et al. The climate consistency goal and the transformation of global finance. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 578–583 (2021).