This 12 week programme brings together experts from the School of Business, Geoscience and Law. You’ll study through a mixture of self-paced learning, and facilitated live discussions with participants from across the financial services sector.

Course structure

Modules include climate change fundamentals, data and measurement, physical and transition risks, and climate law.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding the climate-economy, and the associated investment risks and opportunities, across asset classes and financial actors.
  • Extending beyond accounting, appreciate the role of climate-related data in more complex modelling and financial analysis and decision-making.
  • Understanding how physical climate hazards (physical climate risks) and low-carbon transition (transition climate risk) can be threat multipliers to key macro-financial risks, including structural risks, idiosyncratic risks, and other systemic risks.


Week One

Get to know the cohort and the presenters who will guide you through the content. Access the learning platform, pre-reading materials, reflective exercise and take part in benchmarking activity.

Live session:

You will have a live session for each block of content. Here, you will be able to ask any questions you have on the content in the pre-recorded material and engage with the presenters and fellow learners on practical next steps.

The live sessions include panel discussions, group work and interviews with practitioners to help bring the content to life.

Module A: Introduction and Foundation

Week Two and Three

A1: Climate Change Fundamentals

Understanding the science of climate change and global warming; its importance as a global political, economic, and societal risk; current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models and climate change scenarios.

A2: Climate Change and Financial Services

Understand the difference between 'of' and 'on': Impact of climate change on individuals, organisations, industries and of these entities on climate change; Explore climate change as a holistic - not a scientific – challenge.

A3: Terms, Concepts, and Acronyms

Appreciate the context of climate change financial data; explore what different terms and acronyms mean, why they change, and why there are inconsistencies.

Live session:

An opportunity to engage with the module’s content, share insights and ask questions of the presenters and each other.

Module B: Measurement and Context

Week Four and Five

B1: Navigating Environmental, Social, Governance, and other Climate Change Data

Extending beyond accounting, appreciate the role of data in more complex modelling and financial analyses and decision-making.

B2: Measurement and Accounting

Explore carbon footprinting and greenhouse gas measurement in more detail: how are greenhouse gas emissions measured, and for what purposes; the use of greenhouse gas data to inform financial decision-making.

B3: Carbon Offset Markets

Explore the voluntary and compliance offset markets (including Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) - the planned global offset scheme for the aviation sector), and some of the challenges raised by offsetting.

B4: Carbon Pricing Data

Describe key global, regional, national, and local carbon pricing policies; examine the potential impact of carbon pricing and carbon taxes on regulated industries and the financial services sector; emerging issues and trends in regulatory approaches to carbon pricing risk.

Live session:

An opportunity to engage with the module’s content, share insights and ask questions of the presenters and each other.

Module C: Physical Risks and Finance

Week Six and Seven

C1: Impact of Climate Change

Explore the current and future impacts of climate change on environment, economy, society, and the financial services sector; discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation, and their impacts on the economy, society, and the financial services sector.

C2: Risk-Focused Impact of Climate Change on the Financial Sector

Explore the impact of climate change on the economy, including macroeconomic indicators and factors

C3: Climate Change and Paris-Aligned Financial Flows

Introduce a framework for understanding all the dimensions of Paris-aligned financial flows and its different parameters, based on international discussions.

Live session:

An opportunity to engage with the module’s content, share insights and ask questions of the presenters and each other.

Module D: Transition Risks and Finance

Week Eight and Nine

D1: Transition Risks Modelling

Review transition and liability risks, and their impact on businesses and finance; the impact of transition risk on credit, operational, market, reputational and other risks faced by financial institutions; and different approaches to integrating transition risk into investment decision-making.

D2: Scenario Analysis

Navigating climate change scenarios and understand the narrative and assumptions of the climate impact and transition scenarios.

D3: Climate Change and the Energy Sector

Explore what the sector might look like in 10 years, what geographic trends we are seeing, who might be the winner and losers, what factors will influence this, and what is the relevance to the banking sector.

D4: Sustainable Finance and Fintech

Examining ways in which the tools and techniques of digital finance can apply to managing climate risk, and support the transition to a sustainable, low carbon world.

Live session:

An opportunity to engage with the module’s content, share insights and ask questions of the presenters and each other.

Module E: Climate Law and Litigation

Week Ten and Eleven

E1: The Legal Climate Regime

This module maps the foundational legal frameworks which govern climate change. Starting at the international level, it details the obligations and institutions created by the Paris Agreement, and the ways in which these commitments are implemented at the national level. Specific attention is given to the EU, UK, and US, and key instruments in those jurisdictions such as emissions trading schemes and ‘climate acts'.

E2: Climate Litigation

This module explores the increasingly creative ways in which courts are being deployed as fora to determine disputes relating to the climate, often as a form of climate activism to supplement traditional climate policy. Examples will be drawn from differing levels of governance, from international tribunals to domestic courts. Of particular importance is the range of legal issues which are being deployed - from company law, to advertising standards/greenwashing, constitutional and human rights law. The module will dive into a number of high profile cases, both decided and those currently being litigated.

E3: Regulating Climate Risk

Climate risk encompasses a range of concepts. This module focuses on three of the most significant types of risks. The first relates to financial institutions holding companies to account over perceived climate risks; the second pertains to the risk to corporates of their actions and statements about the impact on their business from, or from their business on, climate change; the third concerns the risk of litigation against companies relating to climate change.

Live session:

An opportunity to engage with the module’s content, share insights and ask questions of the presenters and each other.

Final Event: Conclusions and Next Steps

Week Twelve

The cohort will come together for a final live session, focussed on celebrating completion of the programme, reflecting on what has changed at an individual and organisational level, and looking at next steps.

Alumni from this programme are encouraged to stay connected and to get involved in supporting future cohorts; building an active network of practitioners.

Course format

Each subject is broken down into a series of modules. You will be able to:

  • Engage with the pre-recorded lectures in your own time
  • Access recommendations for additional resources and further reading
  • Reflect on what you’re learning as a result of each lecture through a series of prompts and action tasks
  • Engage with the presenters and your class cohort in the live sessions

Time commitment

50 to 60 hours over 12 weeks.

The course has 4 modules, as well as a live induction and final live session. Each module is composed of 10 to 12 hours of study.

Live session facilitators

Professor Luca Taschini

Reader in Carbon Finance and Programme Director

Chair in Climate Change Finance, Luca is also Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics where he is a member of the Sustainable Finance and the Policy Design and Evaluation research programmes. He holds a PhD in Finance from the University of Zurich.

Dr Matthew Brander

Senior Lecturer in Carbon Accounting

Matthew has participated in the development of international standards for greenhouse gas accounting, including the revision of ISO 14064 and ISO 14067. A former graduate, he gained his PhD in Carbon Accounting from the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Ian Cochran

Lecturer in Carbon Finance

Ian is Programme Director on the MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment and a member of the Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CaSS) at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Up until July 2022, he spent 11 years working with the I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics, most recently as a Senior Advisor.

Dr Sarah Ivory

Executive Education Senior Lecturer - Climate Change and Business Strategy

In addition to her teaching career, Sarah is a researcher, writer and speaker in corporate sustainability, climate change and critical thinking. She is the immediate past Director of the Centre for Business, Climate Change, and Sustainability. Her book, Becoming a Critical Thinker: for your university studies and beyond, has been adopted by universities across the world.

Dr Erika Warnatzsch

Digital Education Designer and Teacher in Carbon Management

After completing an MSc in Carbon Management a the University of Edinburgh, Erika worked in carbon accounting; collaborating with businesses, policymakers, communities and individuals around the world to develop climate solutions. Now back at the University in a teaching post, Urika is working to develop a number of short courses in international climate solutions.

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh

Senior Lecturer in Climate Law

Previously a barrister, Navraj, has been at The University of Edinburgh Law School since 2003. He writes climate law content for LexisNexis and his work is widely cited in press and parliamentary reports. He advises philanthropic foundations, regulatory agencies, committees, international organisations and industry. He also Chair of Climate Strategies, a global network of climate researchers.

Clare Wharmby

Carbon Innovation Manager, Climate Partnerships

Clare is a member of the Climate Partnerships team at the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI). Her focus is on developing tools and training and supporting organisations and individuals to implement net zero targets.

Dr Theodor Cojoianu

Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Finance

Theodor's work covers sustainability, data science and finance. In addition to teaching, he is a Member of the European Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance, where he advises the Commission on EU sustainable finance policy.