Our approach combines academic excellence with a deep understanding of real-world impact

Decisions made this decade will determine the future of our planet – to stop the climate crisis, we must shift global economic and financial systems towards sustainability. This transition must happen quickly, but it must not leave anyone behind.

Through solutions-focused research, and by bringing enterprise into the conversation, we can help build this cleaner, fairer and more prosperous future.

Our research

Our ground-breaking fundamental research drives real-world change, working with partners in public and private activity, business, markets and government.

The SSEE is home to the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme and Oxford Sustainable Finance Group.



Zero-emissions shipping

Alternative fuels for shipping are not yet competitive with fossil fuels, and face a range of barriers to entry. Our analysis looks at the feasibility of applying a policy instrument known as a ‘contract-for-difference’ (CfD). We explore the application of this policy instrument to the decarbonisation of shipping, unpacking the important design and implementation decisions with feedback from a wide range of stakeholders.


Energy Profits Levy should prompt policy reform

A new Smith School analysis argues that the UK Government Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy could have been better aligned with the UK’s net zero commitment, while still taxing supernormal profits and supporting the economy, jobs, and energy security. 


Heatwaves worsen mental health conditions

Heatwaves have a huge impact on our physical and mental health, writes Dr Laurence Wainwright in The Conversation. "Doctors usually dread them, as emergency rooms quickly fill up with patients suffering from dehydration, delirium and fainting. Recent studies suggest at least a 10% rise in hospital emergency room visits on days when temperatures reach or exceed the top 5% of the normal temperature range for a given location."


Who pays for climate change? The Peruvian suing a German utility

Dr Thom Wetzer comments on a lawsuit brought by a Peruvian farmer, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, against RWE, Germany’s largest utility company. He said part of the reason for the uptick in climate litigation is the climate “governance gap The Paris Agreement lacks an enforcement mechanism to ensure that countries do what they’ve signed up for . . . As long as these governance gaps persist, we will see more and more litigation to try and plug those gaps.” There is also no net zero legislation governing what companies can or must do in most parts of the world, he adds.