Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The course will investigate the links between financial dynamics and environmental sustainability, with a special focus on climate change and the lowcarbon transition. After an introduction to sustainability and environmental economics, the course will analyse: i) the actors, assets and strategies to finance a sustainable economy; ii) the risk posed by both environmental and transition risks to financial institutions and the stability of the financial system. Finally, the course will offer an overview of the ongoing and possible sustainable finance policy strategies.

Course contents

The course is made of two modules. The first module (30h) will take place in the first sub-cycle of the second semester (12.02.2024 to 23.03.2024). The second module (15h) will take place in the second sub-cycle of the second semester (15.04.2024 to 18.05.2024). The course will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to sustainability; climate change: physical basis and impacts; the low-carbon transition
  • Money, finance and ecological systems; physical/transition/liability financial risks
  • Sustainable investment: motives and strategies; ESG ratings; impact investing
  • Green equities; green bonds; portfolio optimisation; green premium
  • Public finance for sustainable development
  • Sustainable finance policy-making (taxonomy, benchmarks, standards)
  • Central banks and climate change; green monetary policy; climate stress testing


Most of the readings will be in the form of academic articles or policy reports. All readings will be available on Virtuale or through UniBo subscriptions.

While there is no specific textbook for this course, interested students can we refer to:

  • Roncalli, T (2023) Handbook of sustainable finance. Freely available at: http://www.thierry-roncalli.com/SustainableFinanceBook.html
  • Schoenmaker and Schramade (2019) Principles of Sustainable Finance; Oxford University Press

Teaching methods

The course will be a combination of frontal lectures, in-class exercises and student-led presentations/discussions.

Assessment methods

The grade for the course will be the combination of:

  • Problem sets. Students will submit empirical problem sets at regular frequency during the course (each counting for 5% of the total grade). Submission is individual, and will take place through Virtuale.
  • Group-work. Each student will self-allocate to a topic group (of between three and five members). Topics will be chosen among the ones provided by lecturer, but alternative topic proposals will be considered. Each group will: i) present the conclusions of their work to the class; ii) submit a related essay via Virtuale.
  • Exam. A written exam for the module will take place at the end of the course. The exam will include open essay-style questions, exercises and/or multiple choice questions. The exam will last one hour.

The overall grade for the integrated course will be a simple average of the grades for the two modules. Grading is as follows:

  • <18 fail
  • 18-23 pass
  • 24-27 good
  • 28-30 very good
  • 30L excellent

Teaching tools

All the course material (slides, readings etc.) will be made available on Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuele Campiglio

See the website of Henk Jan Reinders