Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: International Climate Finance (CMSE11498)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course aims to explore key concepts and considerations related to the topic international climate finance. The course will focus principally on the role of governments and public sector actors in providing, catalysing and mobilising financial flows for climate change mitigation and adaptation in both developing and developed countries. It explores the connections between the political "100 billion" climate finance commitment at the international level and the "100 trillion" investment challenge governments face to meet the investment needs to transform national economies. It will look at the different tools, instruments, and policies that these mandates entail - as well as the interactions between governments and the private sector as public resources are used to 'leverage', 'redirect' and 'blend' additional private finance and investment. It will go beyond mitigation objectives to present an overview of the challenges related to adaptation, research & development financing, supporting SMEs and the creation of entire climate service value chains. Finally, the course will also provide an introduction to the concepts of 'concessionality' and the measuring and evaluation frameworks used by public institutions to determine how public funds are used for climate finance
Course description The course aims to provide students with an understanding of principal concepts upon which decisions around international climate finance are made. It will compare and contrast the different conceptual framings that influence how governments use public resource to achieve often complementary, but at times divergent, goals on climate change. The course aims to provide students with the fundamental concepts to analyse and understand the choices on climate finance and investment made by governments and their implementing institutions and agencies. The course will explore the connection between public policy, public financial institutions, and the private sector, seeking to understand how public resources are used to "redirect", "leverage", "mobilise" and "blend" private finance and investment.

The course develops the key concepts, critical understanding and hard skills to assess and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different types of public intervention. Students will develop their ability to assess how governments and public financial institutions determine the appropriate use of public funds through an assessment of different approaches to concessionality and concessional finance. It will also explore some of the principal components of measuring and evaluation frameworks used by these institutions to determine how public funds are used for climate finance.

The course will build on the fundamental concepts and critical understanding developed in the first half of Semester 1 in the Climate Change Policy and Investment course. It will run in parallel to Carbon Markets course as well as Advanced Energy Finance - providing complementary insights on how public actors frame and act on investment and finance topics. The concepts introduced will provide a foundation for the courses in Semester 2, particularly in the Climate Risk and Investment Alignment course.

Outline Content

1. Overview of the mandates of governments on climate, investment and finance
2. Introduction to the governmental tools and institutions used to support climate finance objectives
3. Mapping international and domestic climate finance and investment
4. The role of public finance institutions (including domestic promotional banks, multi-lateral development banks, export credit agencies)
5. The role of international climate funds and mechanisms
6. Financial mechanisms and instruments (concessional finance, blended finance, bonds, guarantees, results-based payments)
7. Measuring & Evaluation frameworks
8. Ethical considerations with national and international climate finance
9. How concessionality is understood in terms of climate change and public finance
10. Public support for adaptation, national policy frameworks and value chain development
11. A critical perspective on public intervention: examples of crowding out and crowding in

Student Learning Experience

The course will be taught through weekly lectures and will generally include a case study, group exercise or other interactive discussion component. The course will also include a small number of guest speakers, either in person or via Skype for overseas speakers. This provides useful real-world insights alongside the more theoretical aspects of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Climate Policy and Investment (CMSE11487)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 2 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 83 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Case Study Analysis (Individual) 100% - Assesses LO1, LO2, LO3
Feedback The Course Organiser will provide formative verbal feedback to the students each week during course sessions lectures, based on the weekly in-class exercises or discussions. The course may include a small number of short quizzes to ensure student comprehension of key concepts and the literature. Feedback will be provided by the Course Organiser, and also by peers within the class. Detailed feedback will also be given on the summative assignments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain and critically evaluate the current state of international and national climate finance and the connection with government mandates, policies and priorities.
  2. Critically evaluate the principal types of intervention (policies, instruments, institutions) used by governments to provide and catalyse national and international climate finance.
  3. Apply the key concepts of concessionality, cost efficiency and 'consistency' to assessing options to achieve international climate finance goals from the perspective of governments.
Reading List
OECD (2017) Investing In Climate, Investing In Growth.

DFI Working Group (2019) DFI Working Group on Blended Concessional Finance for Private Sector Projects. Joint Report.

Investment-Grade Climate Policy: The Next Phase for Europe.

Mobilizing Climate Finance: A Roadmap to Finance a Low-Carbon Economy. Report for the French Presidency. 2015,
I4CE. Low-Carbon Investment 2011 - 2017. 2017,

Ian Cochran, Alice Pauthier. A Framework for Aligning with the Paris Agreement: Why, What and How for Financial Institutions. I4CE, 2019,

Re-Define. Billions to Trillions - A Reality Check Blending: Development Finance Institutions and Financing the Sustainable Development Goals.

CPI. Blended Finance in Clean Energy: Experiences and Opportunities. Climate Policy Initiative, 2018,

WBG. 2018. 'Strategic Use of Climate Finance to Maximize Climate Action: A Guiding Framework'. World Bank Group.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should have:
- The fundamental concepts framing public intervention on international climate finance.
- Critical understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses of government approaches to increase climate finance and investment
- Critical understanding of interactions between public means of intervention and private finance
- Detailed critical knowledge and understanding of methods available to public actors to increase finance and investment for mitigation, adaptation and the development of climate services and value chains.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Identify and assess the key issues surround why governments choose specific means of intervention to achieve climate finance and investment goals.
- Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the modes of intervention choses by governments.
- Apply concepts of concessionality, efficiency and alignment to public actions.

Cognitive Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
-Critically evaluate discussions at the international and national level on international climate finance.
-Differentiate between actions that support the politically-motivated international climate finance transfers between countries, and the larger issues related to the investments needed to transform the entire economy.
-Think analytically about the financial and strategic implications for choices made by governments for private economic and financial actors.

Subject Specific Skills:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Analyse new developments in international climate finance, related government policy, the evolving roles of public financial institutions, and evaluate the implications for economic and financial actors.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Communicate technical, conceptual and critical information clearly and concisely.
- Assess specific instruments and approaches in terms of eligibility for concessionality and alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Structure and manage their own time.
- Cooperate with others from different professional, educational and cultural backgrounds.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ian Cochran
Tel: (0131 6)50 9295
Course secretaryMs Rhiannon Pilkington
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information