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Sustainable Finance Initiative is an effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.


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Winter 2023

Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) Seminar

During the winter and spring quarters, join SFI’s monthly seminar on the third or fourth Thursday of the month from 4:00 - 5:00 pm PST to meet our faculty and fellows and learn more about our ongoing research projects. We’ll cover innovative policy and financial mechanisms designed to rapidly decarbonize the global economy.

During fall quarter, students may enroll in the Sustainable Finance and Investment Seminar (CEE 157/257), led by Soh Young In, a 1-unit course which aims to equip the Stanford community with the knowledge and networks required to undertake significant future work on sustainable finance and investment. The class explores multiple disciplines of sustainable finance, featuring talks by Stanford faculty and guest speakers. The course is open to students, faculty, and staff in the Stanford community. CEE 157/257 meets every Friday from 8:30 - 9:20 am PST during fall quarter. Students may enroll for credit.

If you'd like more information or have questions, please email Katie Taflan Cerneka at

Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure

While climate change is often considered an 'environmental problem', the risks and opportunities embedded in a changing climate go well beyond the natural environment. Law2513 taught by Alicia Seiger and Kate Gordon reframes climate as a macroeconomic challenge, one in which multilateral politics, global investment, and distribution of impacts must be understood and reconsidered. Based on readings and guest speakers, this interdisciplinary course traces the arc of climate past, present and future on the pillars of politics, finance, and infrastructure (both physical and institutional). Grounded in the latest climate science and the history of global climate negotiations, the bulk of the course investigates innovations at the intersection of finance, law and policy, with particular emphasis on risk management, legal liability, corporations, climate justice and resilience. The final sessions look to the future and consider how the next generation of leaders might solve the greatest challenge of our time.

If you'd like more information or have questions, please email Alicia Seiger at

Policy Practicum: Hot Money: Toward Effective Climate Finance and Policy in Southeast Asia

The fight to curb climate change will be won or lost in emerging markets and developing economies -- particularly those in Southeast Asia -- in which surging energy consumption and infrastructure investment today will lock in carbon-emission patterns for decades. Policymakers and investors in these countries and in international development institutions have pledged, most recently at international climate talks in Egypt in November 2022, aggressive emission reductions and significant funding to achieve them. But the environmental efficacy of that investment will depend on how well the spending is calibrated to the realities of the political economies -- that is, the structures of power -- in the countries in question. In this research seminar (LAW 808Z) taught by Jeffrey Ball, also known as a policy practicum, students will work closely with policymakers and investors in Indonesia and/or Vietnam, and with international finance officials focused on those countries, on research that will help inform key energy and energy-finance plans that are in the process of being crafted. The students' work will inform a series of workshops to be held with these players throughout 2023, and it will figure into writing submitted for publication. This work constitutes the next stage of a research program of the Stanford Climate of Infrastructure Project. The research earlier produced a peer-reviewed paper (on which students were named co-authors) illuminating patterns of international climate finance, and a variety of other writings. Because of the depth of the work involved, and of the benefit of continuity in it, students who agree to participate in this policy lab for two quarters -- both the winter 2023 and spring 2023 quarters - will be given priority to enroll.

Directed Reading/Research in Environment & Resources

Under supervision of an E-IPER-affiliated faculty member on a subject of mutual interest. In order to enroll in ENVRES 398/399, joint M.S. students must submit an Independent Study Agreement for approval. May be repeated for credit.

SFI-affiliated Instructors: Jeffrey Ball and Alicia Seiger

If you'd like more information or have questions, please reach out to the instructors listed above directly.

2020-2021 Academic Year