Sustainable Development Goals


Shifting investment behaviour to save the planet

Experts in sustainable finance are monitoring investor behaviours to help increase investment in low-carbon technologies that will help address the global climate crisis.

SDG Case study G7.4-sust-finance

8 October 2020

The World Economic Forum estimates that trillions of dollars are needed to address climate change and its effects. Investments in low-carbon infrastructure, energy efficiency and other adaptations are vital at a global scale but financing them is a complex issue. 

“Economists talk about ‘shifting the trillions’ to close the climate investment gap,” says Dr Nadia Ameli (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources). “But to make it happen, we need to understand investors’ interactions and the dynamics of their investment behaviours. 

"My research on sustainable finance focuses on the role of the financial system in boosting the transition to low-carbon technologies to help us reach the climate goals.” she explains.  

“We hope to identify points where climate-centred policy can intervene and spur on green finance.” 

Dr Ameli works with UCL Computer Science, as well as banks and financial institutions such as HSBC and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, to explore how investors’ behaviour and interactions at an individual level can give rise to large-scale investment trends.  

She uses advanced computational techniques and extensive financial and investment data to look at the way capital flows towards renewables and energy efficiency interventions.  

“It is the collective dynamics of investors’ decisions, operating in different markets across the globe, that shape actual flows in low-carbon technologies,” Dr Ameli explains. 

“By focusing on the financing dimensions of low-carbon investment and the architecture of the financial system, we hope to identify points where climate-centred policy can intervene and spur on green finance,” she adds.