Sarah Colenbrander

Research Fellow, University of Leeds

Sarah Colenbrander


Sarah is a Research Fellow on the Climate Smart Cities research programme. The team work with national governments, regional development authorities and local universities to develop the economic case for low carbon investment at the city scale. They use a bottom-up approach which involves evaluating a wide array of low carbon measures for each city. The findings inform urban and energy policy. Sarah supported the pilot project in Kolkata (India) and now manages the projects in Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Palembang (Indonesia) and Recife (Brazil).

In her former role in CLCF at the University of Leeds, Sarah secured £120,000 to expand the Climate Smart Cities programme to Southeast Asia and £25,000 to establish the African Clean Energy Research Alliance. She previously worked in the forest carbon sector establishing projects that end unsustainable logging practices by generating carbon credits as an alternative source of income for landowners. She notably managed the first avoided deforestation project in the world to be certified under the Verified Carbon Standard, laying the foundation for the protection of >35,000 ha of native Tasmanian forest.

Sarah completed a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Ecology) and Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) at the University of Sydney, followed by an MSc (Environment and Development) at Trinity College, Dublin.

Research Interests:

  • Climate and energy policy
  • Ecological and environmental economics
  • Low carbon development paths
  • Capacity building