Dr Ben Caldecott
Dr Ben Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. At the University of Oxford, he is the inaugural Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance, the first ever endowed professorship of sustainable finance, and a Supernumerary Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford. Ben is also the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment (CGFI), established by UK Research and Innovation in 2021 as the national centre to accelerate the adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions internationally.
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. He has authored and edited a substantial number of publications related to sustainability and is an experienced media commentator and public speaker. His expertise and expert evidence have been recognised in high profile legal cases, including in the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of England and Wales. He is a regular peer reviewer and has a number of trustee, board, and advisory panel appointments, including with the UK Climate Change Committee’s Adaptation Committee, UK Export Finance’s Export Guarantees Advisory Council, the Green Alliance, The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability Project, and Climate Impact X’s International Advisory Council.
He has conceived and initiated a number of initiatives related to sustainable finance. Ben founded and is Co-Chair of 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 and serves on the board of the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI), which is examining the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate-related risk, and the circumstances in which they may be liable for failing to do so. He established and is the Faculty Chair of the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance (P3SA) at the University of Oxford, a global centre of learning on sustainable finance for the public and third sectors. Ben is a Co-Director for the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery where he leads its work on finance.
Ben is Co-Head of the Secretariat for the high-level Transition Plan Taskforce established by HM Treasury in 2022 and serves on the UK Government’s Green Technical Advisory Group. From 2019, he was seconded part-time to the UK Cabinet Office for two years to work on COP26 in Glasgow as the COP26 Strategy Advisor for Finance. He has also served on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee and in his capacity as a Member of the UK Green Finance Taskforce, chaired its Workstream on Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Implementation.
Ben is an advisor to financial institutions across different parts of the financial system internationally, including as a Senior Advisor at Global Infrastructure Partners and by serving on DBS Bank’s Board Sustainability Committee, Neuberger Berman’s ESG Advisory Council, BMO Global Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Council, and ATLAS Infrastructure Partners’ Climate Advisory Board. He is also an Advisor to the Secretariat of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative.
Ben teaches and supervises a wide range of students at the University of Oxford and beyond. In addition to supervising Ph.D./D.Phil. students, he established and leads B.A., M.Sc., and M.Phil. options and electives on finance and sustainability. He is an experienced lecturer and tutor and has created and course directs a number of executive education courses at Oxford each year, including the Sustainable Finance Executive Programme. He contributes to training and capacity building across different finance professions internationally, including as the Academic Advisor to the CFA UK Certificate in Climate and Investing and as lead author of the Global Association of Risk Professional’s Sustainability and Climate Risk Certificate textbook. He serves on CSFI’s Governing Council and has also served as an Academic Associate at the Chartered Banker Institute and on the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ ESG Investment Working Party.
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 Director in the Strategy Directorate of the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (on secondment), as a Deputy Director in the Strategy Directorate of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (on secondment), as an Advisor to The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, as Sherpa to the UK Green Investment Bank Commission, and as the Senior Advisor to the Chair and CEO of the UK Green Finance Institute.
Ben holds a doctorate in economic geography from the University of Oxford. He initially read economics and specialised in development and China at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the University of Cambridge. He has been an Academic Visitor at the Bank of England, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and 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 Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.
- Climate change
- Public policy
- Sustainable finance
- Greening the financial system
- Stranded assets
- Geospatial data
- Green investment
- Breaking the bond: primary markets and carbon-intensive financing (2021)
- The energy transition and changing financing costs (2021)
- Capital Shift: Using the UK’s COP26 and G7 presidencies to green the financial system (2021)
- Aligning Finance for The Net-Zero Economy: Thought Leadership Series (2020)
- Committed emissions from existing and planned power plants and asset stranding required to meet the Paris Agreement (2018)
- Stranded assets and the environment: risk, resilience, and opportunity (2018)
- Game theory and corporate governance: conditions for effective stewardship of companies exposed to climate change risks (2017)
- Empirical calibration of climate policy using corporate solvency: a case study of the UK's carbon price support (2016)
Ben has extensive experience of working with major national and international media, including print, broadcast and online.
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.
Recent media work
- Green investing: How your savings can fight climate change (BBC News, 2021)
- ETF providers have been leading buyers of new fossil fuel bonds, finds study (Financial Times, 2021)
- Mark Carney Walks Back Brookfield Net-Zero Claim After Criticism (Bloomberg Green, 2021)
- Coal financing costs surge as investors opt for renewable energy (The Guardian, 2021)
- Loan Markets Are Pricing In Climate Transition, Penalizing Coal (Bloomberg Green, 2021)
- UK to fund £10m green finance research centre (Financial Times, 2021)
- Banks need to get ahead of climate change, or else (Financial Times, 2019)
- Investors face arduous task in forcing change at energy groups (Financial Times, 2019)
- Climate change could make insurance too expensive for most people (The Guardian, 2019)
- Oral evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee