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Research Fellow – Development finance

Sarah works on public and private financial institutions’ alignment with the Paris Agreement’s goals. She also contributes to I4CE’s role of holding the Secretariat of the “Mainstreaming Climate in Financial Institutions” Initiative.


Prior to joining I4CE, Sarah worked for several years in climate change and sustainability consulting at ERM, supporting companies in assessing their direct and indirect climate impact and defining emissions reduction targets, assessing their exposure to climate-related physical and transition risks, and aligning with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. Before that, she worked at the Energy & Climate Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme on technical assistance projects in energy efficiency, in particular for beneficiary countries in Latin America.


Sarah holds a dual-master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy, from Sciences Po Paris and Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI).

Last contributions
  • 31/08/2023 Blog post

    Synergising Sustainable Development Goals Finance with Climate Finance 

    Sustainable development and climate change are two pressing and interconnected issues that countries have committed to address at the international level. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including climate action, at its core was adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015. The same year, the Paris Agreement was adopted by Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Both instruments have clear global and national targets in the medium- and long-term that are still far from being met.
  • 06/04/2023 Blog post

    Ambition is the Key Missing Ingredient in the World Bank’s Paris Alignment Approach 

    After years of waiting, the World Bank finally approved and released its alignment approach with the mitigation and adaptation goals of the Paris Agreement. Presented by the World Bank as “the most comprehensive institutional undertaking ever done by the Bank Group to reconcile development and climate”, this alignment approach is an important step towards the reform of the World Bank currently under discussion. But this approach won’t be sufficient, argue Alice Pauthier and Sarah Bendahou in this blog post. It could be more ambitious.  
  • 19/10/2022 Blog post

    Net zero commitments need to prioritise impact

    Over the past couple of years, the growing net zero commitments across financial institutions strengthened the focus on their portfolios’ greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, this focus does not guarantee emissions are truly reduced in the real economy. For that to happen, there is a pressing need for decarbonisation approaches focused on impact generation, with the appropriate indicators. According to Sarah Bendahou, Public development banks are in a unique position to adopt such approaches and indicators, paving the way for private financial institutions.
  • 28/06/2022 Climate Report

    Long-term strategy use for Paris-aligned investments

    This I4CE report focuses on the role of countries’ Long-Term Strategies (LTSs) in the Paris alignment approaches of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). It explores the possible roles of both the LTS development process and the resulting LTS document in providing insights on the Paris alignment of investments within investment decision-making processes. The findings are relevant for a broader range of financial institutions.

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