Dharshan Wignarajah leads CPI’s UK team, covering activity across Europe including shaping policy and technical work in climate finance and leading external engagement and program development. Dharshan has more than 20 years of public sector, industry, and strategic advisory experience in climate and development finance, impact investing, clean technology, and renewable energy, with particular emphasis on fostering innovation that leverages scarce public resource to catalyze private finance at scale.
Dharshan develops and guides key CPI programs and initiatives, including its climate finance tracking work such as the Global Landscape of Climate Finance, the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, climate finance needs assessment, net zero finance institution commitments and integrity, and DFI integration of biodiversity and nature monitoring.
Dharshan is frequently invited as a moderator and speaker for international conferences on topics of climate finance, private capital mobilization, and the role of public and philanthropic capital as a catalyst.
Dharshan previously served in the UK Government’s Cabinet Office COP26 Unit, where he led on finance and aspects of resilience, as part of the UK’s COP Presidency. In advance of COP26 he led oversight of the Presidency’s strategy on climate finance, covering key topics including the USD 100 billion delivery plan, fiscal space and debt sustainability, and the role of the MDBs and the IMF in private finance mobilization, working closely with Treasury officials and the teams of the UK Prime Minister’s advisor on Climate Finance, including Mark Carney and the UK’s High-Level Champion, Nigel Topping. Dharshan also led on engagement with public development banks through the IDFC and cooperation between COP and the Finance in Common Summit.
Prior to that, Dharshan led the UK FCDO’s Investment Mobilization Team, where he led the development of GBP 1.2 billion of development finance investment plans, leading efforts to innovate on use of scarce public resource to catalyse private finance at scale. Earlier, Dharshan was DFID’s private finance lead for the GCF, Climate Investment Funds, and GEF, as well as advisor across the climate finance portfolio – which included advisory committee membership on two private equity funds – IFC Catalyst Fund and Asia Climate Partners.
Prior professional experience includes working as a strategy consultant, both independently and with McKinsey, and with the solar division of Royal Dutch Shell.
Dharshan holds a Masters and BA from Edinburgh University.