Founding Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and Associate Professor
Dr. Ben Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme. He is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, a Visiting Researcher at The Alan Turing Institute, and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Ben is also Senior Advisor to the Chair and CEO of the UK Green Finance Institute (GFI) and a Policy Associate at the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where he is a Director-level secondee in the Strategy Directorate providing advice on a range of policy issues, many of which are related to finance, investment, and market design.
Ben specialises in environment, energy, and sustainability issues and works at the intersection between finance, public policy, and academe, having held senior roles in each domain. Ben 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 University of Oxford Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee, The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, ATLAS Infrastructure Partners Ltd, Impact Lens Ltd, the British Standards Institution (BSI), 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 (GRASFI), an alliance of global research universities promoting rigorous and impactful academic research on sustainable finance. He established and leads the Sustainable Finance Theme at The Alan Turing Institute and initiated the Spatial Finance Initiative, which aims to mainstream geospatial capabilities enabled by space technology and data science into financial decision-making globally. He co-founded the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI), 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. He also established and led as chair Bright Blue’s research programme on energy and the environment.
He currently serves on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee. In his capacity as a Member of the UK Green Finance Taskforce, he chaired its Workstream on Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) 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 (CSFI). The ‘Sustainable Finance for Breakfast‘ series brings together a wide range of practitioners to discuss and debate the latest developments in sustainable finance.
Ben teaches and supervises a wide range of students at the University of Oxford. In addition to supervising Ph.D./D.Phil. students, he established and leads an M.Sc. and M.Phil. elective on finance and sustainability. He also created and course directs three executive education courses at Oxford each year: the Sustainable Finance Foundation Course, an introduction to sustainable finance for current and future leaders; the Climate-related Financial Risk Course, to equip participants with the very latest knowledge, as well as the expertise, networks, and confidence to design and implement practices for measuring and managing climate-related risks; and the Engagement, Stewardship, and Sustainability Course to help participants transform investor engagement and stewardship practices related to the environment.
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 net zero carbon transition, where he ran the firm’s research centre and advised clients and funds on the development of policy-driven markets. Ben 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, as an Advisor to The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, and as Sherpa to the UK Green Investment Bank Commission.
Ben 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 an Academic Visitor at the Bank of England, 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. Ben is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at the Colorado School of Mines, a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and Royal Geographical Society, and a Member of the Senior Common Room at Oriel College, Oxford.
Selected media experience includes: ABC Lateline, ABC News, ABC Radio National, Associated Press, BBC Local and Regional Radio (various), BBC News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, Bloomberg, Business Week, International Herald Tribune, Investments & Pensions Europe, Investors Chronicle, ITV, Metro, Ming Pao, Nature, Platts, Press Association, Reuters, Sky News, The Age, The Atlantic, The Australian Financial Review, The Business Standard, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Ecologist, The Economist, The Economic Times India, The Evening Standard, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Herald, The Hindustan Times, The Huffington Post, The Independent, The Nation, The New York Times, The Nikkei, The Scotsman, The South China Morning Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, The Times, The Week, and TIME Magazine.