Sustainable Finance: Research and Policy Activities

Climate change is one of the megatrends that society is confronted with. In 2019, the European Union (EU) declared in the European Green Deal to transition to a sustainable economy until 2050, bringing up new challenges for the financial system. 

For financial markets, the consequences of climate change create new risks as well as a huge financing need to bear the costs of the transition toward a net-zero economy. At the same time, private investors’ interest in green and sustainable finance is rising. To make informed decisions from an economic and ecological perspective, it is important that information on environmental, social, and governance criteria (ESG) is available in a transparent and harmonized manner.

At SAFE, research looks into the impact on households, firms, and financial intermediaries and addresses issues like heterogenous ESG standards, regulatory loopholes, and greenwashing.


On 12 July 2022, the SAFE Policy Center hosted the first Sustainability Standards Watchers Conference.

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News & Activities


Author/sTitleProgram AreaTypePublishedKeywords
Monica Billio, Michele Costola, Loriana Pelizzon, Max RiedelCreditworthiness and buildings’ energy efficiency in the Italian mortgage market
SAFE Working Paper No. 352
Financial Markets SAFE Working Paper2022
Roman Inderst, Marcus OppSocially Optimal Sustainability Standards with Non-Consequentialist ("Warm Glow") Investors
SAFE Working Paper No. 346
Financial Intermediation, Law and Finance, Household Finance SAFE Working Paper2022Sustainability; ESG; green financing; labelling;
Roman Inderst, Stefan ThomasNachhaltigkeit und Wettbewerb: Zu einer Reform des Wettbewerbsrechts für die Erreichung von Nachhaltigkeitszielen
Policy Letter No. 94
Law and Finance Policy Paper2022Nachhaltigkeit, ESG, Wettbewerbsrecht
Monica Billio, Michele Costola, Iva Hristova, Carmelo Latino, Loriana PelizzonSustainable Finance: A journey toward ESG and climate risk
SAFE Working Paper No. 349
Financial Markets SAFE Working Paper2022Environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG); credit risk; debt cost; equity cost; sovereign bonds; portfolio management
Tobias TrögerBewertung des Vorschlags der BaFin für eine Richtlinie für nachhaltige Investmentvermögen
Policy Letter No. 93
Law and Finance Policy Paper2021Sustainable Finance, Regulierung, Nachhaltigkeit, Offenlegungspflichten, BaFin
Jana Eisenkopf, Steffen Juranek, Uwe WalzResponsible Investment and Stock Market Shocks: Short-Term Insurance and Persistent Outperformance Post-Crisis?
SAFE Working Paper No. 329
Financial Intermediation SAFE Working Paper2021Responsible investment, ESG, stock market crisis, persistence
Alperen Afsin GözlügölThe Clash of ‘E’ and ‘S’ of ESG: Just Transition on the Path to Net Zero and the Implications for Sustainable Corporate Governance and Finance
SAFE Working Paper No. 325
Law and Finance SAFE Working Paper2021climate change, sustainability, ESG, employees, workforce, net zero transition, corporate governance, institutional investors, green finance
Jan Pieter Krahnen, Jörg Rocholl, Marcel ThumA primer on green finance: From wishful thinking to marginal impact
White Paper No. 87
Financial Markets Policy Paper2021Green Finance, Climate Change, Sustainability, Taxonomy, ESG
Sebastian Steuer, Tobias TrögerThe Role of Disclosure in Green Finance
SAFE Working Paper No. 320
Law and Finance SAFE Working Paper2021
Christoph Hambel, Holger Kraft, Eduardo S. SchwartzOptimal Carbon Abatement in a Stochastic Equilibrium Model with Climate Change
European Economic Review
Macro Finance, Systemic Risk Lab Published Paper2020
Monica Billio, Michele Costola, Iva Hristova, Carmelo Latino, Loriana PelizzonInside the ESG Ratings: (Dis)agreement and Performance
SAFE Working Paper No. 284
Financial Markets SAFE Working Paper2020
Ester FaiaFrontiers of Sustainable Finance in Europe: The Social Impact Bond
Policy Letter No. 24
Financial Intermediation Policy Paper2014social impact bonds, risk premia, incentives for investment

Ongoing Research Projects

Sustainable Finance: People