The big challenge of the 21st century is to how decouple global economic growth from the ongoing depletion of our natural resources base. In this context, investment in sustainable change through institutional and technological innovation is the only way to reconcile population growth and poverty reduction with the need to conserve the environment. Sustainable finance comprises therefore much more than investment in sustainable niche markets and green bonds to support the provision of environmental services. It requires leadership in government and finance that makes it less risky and costly for the private sector to invest in new markets for environmental goods as well as new technologies that have the potential to bring about a global green economy. At the same time, business practices that cause negative externalities for the poor and the environment need to become more risky and costly. The objective of our sustainable finance research is to identify investments that encourage a global green economy and investments that discourage it.