all staff

caroline headshot

Caroline Ott

  • Climate Aligned Industries
  • Climate Intelligence

Caroline is a Principal in the Climate Intelligence Program (CIP), where she leads on strategy development. Previously, Caroline was a founding member of RMI’s Global Climate Finance program, where she led several initiatives: the establishment of the Climate Finance Access Network, an international network of climate finance advisors dedicated to accessing and structuring finance for climate investments in low-income countries; the publication of How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseouts Feasible and Just, which compared the cost competitiveness of the existing global coal fleet with new renewables and storage; the publication of the first America’s Pledge report, which analyzed the climate commitments and actions of U.S. states, cities, and businesses; and the program’s thought leadership on climate auctions and net climate finance.


Prior to RMI, Caroline worked at the World Bank in the Climate and Carbon Finance Unit, where she implemented a $50 million project piloting the use of auctions to allocate climate finance. Caroline also worked as a strategy consultant at California Environmental Associates, where she advised over twenty environmental nonprofits and foundations on program design and evaluation. She began her career as a carbon and environmental markets analyst at Ecosystem Marketplace.


Caroline has a B.A. in economics from Barnard College at Columbia University, and a M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University with concentrations in development economics and international environmental resource policy.


Boulder, CO

Authored Works

How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible and Just

For over a century, growing presence of coal smokestacks worldwide signified economic development and progress. Coal supplied our homes with electricity and our factories with power. At the same time, this workhorse of the industrial era caused serious harm to our health and the environment. Today, the costs of continuing…


RMI Introduces the Climate Finance Access Network at COP25

The halls of the United Nations climate conference (COP25) in Madrid this week have been buzzing with discussions about the complex challenges posed by climate change—and the equally complex solutions. Finance plays a central role in the debate, particularly for developing countries trying to navigate the maze of finance…


Unsnarling Climate Finance Gridlock

For developing countries seeking financial support for climate investments, navigating the global climate finance system is akin to exploring a foreign city without a map. There are billions of dollars managed by hundreds of funds—each with their own applications, funding requirements, and approval processes. Along the way, developing countries may…


Auctioned Price Floors: Changing How We Invest in Climate

Here’s the challenge: you work for a government agency or philanthropy that wants to encourage climate mitigation projects such as solar energy installations or building efficiency upgrades, and you have a grant budget of $50 million to invest anywhere in the world. You want to invest in projects that reduce…


The New Face of American Leadership on Climate Change

It’s official: U.S. states, cities, and businesses have emerged as the new face of American climate leadership on the global stage. Today, November 11, 2017 at the United Nations climate conference in Bonn, California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the first product of…


Demonstrating U.S. Climate Leadership

Since the White House announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, American mayors, governors, CEOs, and other leaders have been reaffirming their support for continued action on climate change. As of last month, we have seen nine states, 227 cities and counties, 315 institutions of higher education,…


What Salad and Ice Cream Tell Us about Climate Finance

Imagine you’re on a diet—but to measure progress, you decide to count only the number of salads you’re eating while ignoring the number of ice creams. That, in a nutshell, is what has happened in global discussions on climate finance, according to a new discussion paper from Rocky Mountain Institute…