UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


COP26 - IIPP busts myths to unlock climate action

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) has worked closely with governments around the world to rethink the role of the public sector and on market-shaping approaches to address the climate crisis and green transition.



Register here to join the above event online

COP26 Events

Members of the IIPP team are speaking at a number of events as part of COP26. Details below.

  • 28 October, 6-7:15pm (GMT) How Do We Pay for a Green New Deal? Online event. Watch the video here
  • 2 November, 9am (GMT) Olga Mikheeva presenting on the ‘Economic Response Toward Coivd-19 Resilience’ panel. Online event. Watch the video here
  • 3 November, 12:30pm (GMT) Cities at the Crossroads. Public event to launch the Council on Urban Initiatives. London.
  • 4 November, 9-10:30am (GMT) Net Zero Cities of the Future. Zero Emissions Solutions Conference. Ryan Bellinson presenting on the ‘Net Zero Cities of the Future’ panel. Online event. Watch the video here
  • 10 November, 10-11am (GMT) Public Development Banks & Green Finance for a Just Transition to Net Zero. Hosted by the Scottish National Investment Bank. Gallery 4, The Lighthouse, Glasgow and online. Register here to join online
  • 10 November, 5:30-6:30pm (GMT) Getting Serious about the Green Economy: Social and Economic Tools to Achieve Bold Climate Targets, EU Pavilion (Blue Zone), Glasgow and online. Register here to join online  (as shown in above image)
  • 11 November, 3:45-5pm (GMT) Adaptation and resilience in urban water: Convergence of water and sanitation and climate action, Water Pavilion Event featuring Gyorgi Galik. Find out more and join the talk here.

    Solving the climate crisis and creating a more fair, just economy in the process is only achievable if governments act boldly. Markets can and must be shaped by the public sector in a sustainable direction, towards inclusive green economic growth. Investment is not neutral, and innovation can be tilted towards addressing societal-wide challenges such as climate change and biodiversity and ecosystems loss. 

    COP26 is a springboard for action to avoid the climate crisis and foster a more equitable economy in the process. To achieve this sustainable future, new economic thinking is needed that can direct purpose-driven innovation, unlock alternative forms of investment and financial models and reimagine public value to help society accelerate the green transformation. 

    Our policy and research projects - with partners ranging from the European Commission to London Borough of Camden - are highly impactful, aiming to shift the role of the public sector and purpose of innovation towards the direction of grand challenges like climate change. Through our work, we are scrutinising the economic and political myths that have stifled climate action and are experimenting with new theories alongside policymakers to reimagine tools and approaches for the green future.  

    Challenging myths to solve the climate crisis’

    To address and promote solutions that can solve climate change, biodiversity loss and ecological degradation, public and private organisations must collaborate in new ways and become more purpose-driven. Governments at all levels demand different tools and capabilities to co-create and co-shape green and sustainable markets. Through IIPP’s work, we take on the myths underpinning the notion that the problems of the fossil fuel economy of the past and present can be solved through market-fixing solutions and are developing frameworks for the zero carbon economy of tomorrow.

    Public sector as co-creator of zero-carbon markets

    Markets are an outcome of policy. Public sector actors can co-create and co-shape them for the public purpose of decarbonisation.

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    Public sector investing patient long-term finance to accelerate green innovation

    Stimulating green innovation demands patient long-term finance, investment private financial institutions are ill-suited to provide. Early-stage public investment can overcome short-termism and risk aversion to crowd in private actors. 

    Learn more

    Public sector welcoming uncertainty to accelerate climate action

    The climate crisis will not be solved by using policy to de-risk activity in the private sector. Experimentation and taking risks for the green transition should be welcomed with the rewards shared. 

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    Public sector tilting towards a green direction

    Markets don’t just have a ‘rate’ of growth but also a ‘direction’. Policy should actively tilt the market towards a green orientation.

    Learn more



    The EIB and the new EU missions framework

    Quantitative easing and nature loss

    The Green New Deal: A bold mission-oriented approach

    A case study of mission-oriented innovation in Greater Manchester

    A mission-oriented approach to clean growth

    Managing-nature-related financial risks: a precautionary policy approach for central banks and financial supervisors

    Climate-related financial policy in a world of radical uncertainty: Towards a precautionary approach 


    Biscay Fiscal (Tax) Policy and the SDGs

    Greater Manchester’s climate mission

    Central banks and sustainability

    Camden Renewal Commission

    Mobilising Investment into Low Carbon Assets (MOBICA)

    Thought leadership 


    Saving the Climate in a Triple Crisis (The New Republic) by Mariana Mazzucato

    This must be a ‘1968 moment’ for sustainable development (Times Higher Education) by Martha McPherson and Kate Roll

    It’s 2023. Here’s how we fixed the global economy (TIME) by Mariana Mazzucato

    Avoiding a Climate Lockdown (Project Syndicate) by Mariana Mazzucato

    Central Banking’s Green Mission (Project Syndicate) by Mariana Mazzucato, Josh Ryan-Collins and Asker Voldsgaard

    We need a democratized Green Investment Bank for a just transition (Open Democracy) by Thomas Marois

    Media highlights

    Professor Mariana Mazzucato’s interview, “China under Trump: the green innovation race” (The Banker)

    Senior Research Fellow Ryan Bellinson’s discussion, “Climate change: How can cities help?” (TRT World)

      Collaborate with us!

      We help global policymakers solve complex problems. To work with us, find out more about our:

      • Mission Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN) where we bring together leading policymaking institutions to share the challenges and opportunities they face in the pursuit of public-value driven innovation.
      • Executive Education where we emphasise the dynamic capabilities required in the public sector to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century.


      For more information, please contact:

      Ryan Bellinson

      Senior Research Fellow in Cities, Climate and Innovation