Sam Unsworth

Policy Analyst

Sam works in the policy analysis team in the Grantham Research Institute on climate policy, finance and diplomacy.


Prior to joining the Grantham Research Institute, Sam was a Manager in PwC’s Sustainability & Climate Change practice. Sam managed climate policy and financing projects in the UK, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and South Asia. Sam also spent 2 years as part of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, focusing on climate diplomacy in the lead-up to and aftermath of COP21 in 2015. Prior to this, Sam worked at the NGO Renewable World, which installed off-grid energy projects. Sam holds a Masters in Conflict, Governance and Development from the University of York.

Research interests

  • Design of policy frameworks to support NDC implementation
  • Financing of renewable energy projects
  • Decarbonisation pathways for the energy system
  • The intersection between humanitarian response and climate change.
Policy publications  4 March, 2020

Delivering strong and sustainable growth in the UK: A special decade for innovation and investment

In advance of the Budget, this policy report highlights areas of the UK economy where the public sector could leverage private investment and in so doing contribute to achieving the strategic priorities of regionally balanced growth and decarbonisation. read more »

Policy publications  12 February, 2020

Seizing sustainable growth opportunities from zero emission passenger vehicles in the UK

The UK needs to adopt a strategic approach to decarbonisation and the transition to net-zero economic growth. This report focuses on the goods and services related to passenger vehicles, identifying the multiple areas in which the UK could be competitive: opportunities lie in diverse goods and services across value chains and stages of innovation. read more »


Policy publications  20 September, 2019

Decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance

The Grantham Research Institute’s response to the Commons Select Committee inquiry into decarbonisation of the UK economy highlights the Treasury’s unique position in government to drive the transition towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a focus on economic growth. read more »

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Commentary  11 December, 2019

Election 2019: What the main parties' manifestos say about zero-emissions transport

Ahead of the General Election, Sam Unsworth analyses the Conservative and Labour Parties’ manifesto pledges on surface transport decarbonisation and the opportunities offered by growth of the zero-emissions transport sector in the UK. read more »

Commentary  30 October, 2019

Zero-carbon goods and services need to be at the heart of UK growth

In the coming years the UK will be competing in a race between economies to become cleaner, smarter and more efficient. The prize? The lion’s share of growing markets for … read more »

Commentary  2 August, 2019

Insurers disclosing climate risk need to remember their customers

Extending climate risk disclosure to customers could yield a range of benefits for insurers, customers and the climate, but the industry will need to deepen the relationships that it holds with customers in order to achieve this, write Swenja Surminski and Sam Unsworth in this post for the Sustainable Finance Leadership series. read more »

Commentary  1 April, 2019

How do UK businesses walk the talk of net-zero ambition?

Business must deliver a step-change in its own ambitions and discourse if the UK is to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions target, argues Sam Unsworth. read more »

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Policy Seminars 13 Feb 2020

UK growth opportunities from zero emission and autonomous vehicles - report launch and panel discussion

Over the last year LSE has been working on a report focused on the growth opportunities which zero emission and autonomous vehicles can present for the UK. The project has … read more »

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