UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Green economy

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) works closely with governments all over the world to rethink innovation and take on a market-shaping approach to the climate crisis and the green transition.

We need new ideas, institutions, and policies to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. Yet markets will not find a green direction alone. Governments have a unique ‘market-shaping’ role to play. Public investment and mission-oriented industrial strategy can galvanise green innovation by holistically shaping new markets, whilst green financial policy can incentivise private capital to align with climate goals in ways that create clear accountability. It is time to stop filling “financing gaps” and funding solutions that are too-little, too-late, and start shaping markets and paying more attention to the quality (not just the quantity) of finance. To drive the transformational change to tackle the climate crisis we need finance that is patient, long-term, and mission-oriented. Through academic research and engagement with high-level policymakers, IIPP is rethinking existing paradigms to articulate how ‘market-shaping’ policy approaches can accelerate the green structural economic transition.

Prof. Mariana Mazzucato moderated the COP 27 panel event “When will leaders lead? Creating fiscal space and direct finance for climate and health goals”; co-hosted with the Government of Scotland featuring remarks from Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, with responses from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland, Minister Hala El-Said of Egypt and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO.

Our Engagement at COP 28 / Highlights

At COP 28, the UCL Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose in partnership with the Government of Argentina, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) co-hosts the session From a financing gap to outcomes-oriented finance.

The panel comprising global female leaders will focus on the challenges and opportunities of redesigning public development finance to tackle the climate crisis, while transforming our economies to become more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable.

The panel discussion is moderated by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London, it will include keynote remarks from Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados followed by a panel discussion with Bogolo Kenewendo, Special Advisor, Regionalization Director, Just Transition with High-Level Climate Champions Team, Cecilia Nicolini, State Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation of Argentina and Teresa Ribera, Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Minister for the Ecological Transition, Spain.

Research and Policy Focuses

IIPP’s high-impact academic research challenges the dominant narrative that limits the role of the state to de-risking green private investments. Through empirical and theoretical work, we explore how public policy can strengthen green innovation chains and crowd in private investment. We have also articulated a critical role for central banks and financial regulators to steer finance in alignment with green missions. 

IIPP works closely with governments, cities, and public financial institutions all over the world to implement market-shaping green policy approaches. By experimenting and co-creating with a range of public and private stakeholders, IIPP aims to transform how knowledge and policy are created and shared, and how global problems are solved. 

Industrial policy for net zero

Decarbonising our economies is a structural challenge and markets will not find a green direction alone. Mission-oriented industrial policy can shape green markets whilst ensuring just outcomes for society.

Green Cities and Council on Urban Initiatives

IIPP works with local governments to advance transformative urban initiatives in support of the green transition.

Green financial policy

Financial flows must shift away from damaging activities and towards green sectors. Our research shows how financial regulation and actions by central banks can accelerate this shift.

Financing biodiversity

Relying on private finance may not reverse biodiversity loss at the pace and scale needed. Our work articulates the role governments should take to deliver the global biodiversity targets.

Financing green innovation

It is not just the size but also the type of finance that matters for scaling up green R&D. Our empirical work shows how public investment can mobilise finance for Net Zero.

The Economics of Water

We need to recognise water as a Common Good. Ambitious mission-oriented policy can help to overcome the complexity of water challenges at multiple levels.

Journal articles 
Working papers
Policy reports

Our Voice in the Media

More of IIPP's contributions to the green innovation public debate

Events Highlights

Our Work at COP27 / Highlights

IIPP's full COP27 Statement

IIPP's COP27 Statement

COP27 Statement by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All

COP27 Statement by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All 

The second statement by WHO Council - Green financing for good health: common investments for people and the planet

Green financing for good health: common investments for people and the planet

2023 Highlights of Public Engagements

Our Work at COP26 / Highlights 


IIPP's COP26 Engagement: IIPP busts myths to unlock climate action


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Click here for more highlights about our public engagements


Katie Kedward

Senior Research Fellow