Founding Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme
Dr. Ben Caldecott is the founding director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. The Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme is a multidisciplinary research centre working to be the world’s best place for research and teaching on sustainable finance and investment. He is concurrently an Academic Visitor at the Bank of England, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, a Senior Advisor at Highmore LLC, and a Senior Associate Fellow at Bright Blue. Caldecott specialises in environment, energy, and sustainability issues and works at the intersection between finance, government, civil society, and academe, having held senior roles in each domain.
Caldecott has authored and edited a substantial number of publications related to sustainability and is an experienced media commentator and public speaker. He is also a regular peer reviewer and has a number of board and advisory panel appointments, including with the UK Green Finance Taskforce, City of London Green Finance Initiative, University of Oxford Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee, The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, ATLAS Infrastructure Partners Ltd, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, and the Green Alliance.
He has conceived and initiated a number of initiatives related to sustainable finance. Ben founded and co-chairs the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, an alliance of global research universities promoting rigorous and impactful academic research on sustainable finance. He initiated the Northern European Partnership for Sustainable Finance, an international collaboration to ensure Northern Europe continues to be the centre of innovation in sustainable finance and drives progress internationally, as well as the Asset-level Data Initiative, which aims to make accurate, comparable, and comprehensive asset-level data tied to ownership publicly available across key sectors and geographies.
He co-founded the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative, which is examining the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate change-related risk, and the circumstances in which they may be liable for failing to do so. Caldecott is also the founder and principal investigator of the Green BRI Platform, a project designed to help measure, manage, and mitigate the environmental risks and impacts of investments along China’s Belt and Road Initiative. He has also established and now chairs Bright Blue’s research programme on energy and the environment.
Caldecott also chairs the City of London Green Finance Initiative Working Group on Data, Disclosure, and Risk. In his capacity as a member of the UK Green Finance Taskforce, he chairs its Workstream on Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures Implementation. Ben also co-hosts a regular roundtable breakfast meeting in the City of London on sustainable finance with the Centre for the Study of Finance Innovation. The ‘Sustainable Finance for Breakfast’ series brings together a wide range of practitioners to discuss and debate the latest developments in sustainable finance.
Caldecott teaches and supervises a wide range of students. In addition to supervising graduate students at the University of Oxford, he created and course directs the Oxford Sustainable Finance Foundation Course, an introduction to sustainable finance for current and future leaders working in a range of sectors. The course is centered around a five-day residential workshop held in a college at the University of Oxford annually.
Prior to joining the University of Oxford, he was a vice president at investment bank Climate Change Capital, one of the early leading asset management and advisory firms focused on the low carbon transition, where he ran the firm’s research centre and advised clients and funds on the development of policy-driven markets. Caldecott has previously worked as research director for Environment and Energy at the think tank Policy Exchange, as Head of Government Advisory at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, as a deputy director in the Strategy Directorate of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, and as Sherpa to the UK Green Investment Bank Commission.
Caldecott holds a doctorate in economic geography from the University of Oxford. He initially read economics and specialised in development and China at the University of Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has been a visiting scholar at Peking University and held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, the University of Sydney, and the University of Melbourne. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment. Caldecott is also a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the Senior Common Room at Oriel College, Oxford.