article
12 December 2022

Training 50,000 public servants with Apolitical and Bezos Earth Fund

Estimated reading time: 2 Minutes
8 out of 10 public servants lack the tools and know-how to make a difference on climate

This month saw the launch of the Government Climate Campus – an ambitious partnership to connect public servants with the tools and training they need to address the climate crisis through practical and action-oriented online learning. The Smith School is delighted to be a founding partner and contributing our expertise to supporting 50,000 public servants to cut emissions by 50% by 2030. 

Strength in numbers

Collaborating with Apolitical, a global community for policy-makers, and with the Bezos Earth Fund supporting the pilot phase, the Smith School will be advancing our aims to shift the global economic and financial system to a sustainable future.  Partnering with these leading organisations will expand our impact and reach, and the means to accelerate action on net zero and just and sustainable development globally.

The Smith School is committed to broadening knowledge at the intersection of sustainability and policy development and enabling public servants to shape ideas with evidence-based examples.  In the Campus we are the umbrella organisation for providing online courses on sustainable finance and reaching net zero.

The climate crisis is the defining challenge of the 21st century, and government action is critical to solving it. We know from our own research that 8 out of 10 public servants and policymakers don’t have the learning resources they need to tackle climate change. With the Government Climate Campus, we’re closing the government green skills gap through exceptional online learning experiences, made possible by exceptional partners like the Smith School.
- Robyn Scott, Co-founder and CEO of Apolitical

Global 'Climate Campus' courses

The self-paced online short courses have been tailored for policy development, providing sufficient background for learners and with tangible and relevant exercises.  Whether you work in regional or central government, and whether you are in a department which is just starting to address the climate emergency or you are further along the sustainability path, the courses have something to offer.

The new Reaching Net Zero course is targeted at providing a succinct overview of the challenge, and progresses to showcase a range of policies which have succeeded around the world.  Led by Sam Fankhauser, Professor of Climate Economics and Policy and Research Director of Oxford Net Zero, the course helps public servants to navigate their way through net zero in ten hours of study, anchored in the seminal Nature Climate Change paper on getting net zero right.  Starting with understanding the urgency of emission reductions and ways of ensuring integrity in removals and offsets, the approach is also consistent with sustainable development objectives.

The Introduction to Sustainable Finance course, by the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance (P3SA), has already trained over 1500 participants from more than 300 organisations and 120 countries.  In 20 hours it provides the key concepts, theories and topics in this emerging field –it covers policies to motivate greater investment on sustainability and includes the opportunities and future trends on accelerating the adoption of sustainable finance.

The Smith School is tremendously excited to be collaborating with Apolitical and the Bezos Earth Fund on the Government Climate Campus. Moving towards a sustainable future is one of the biggest challenges of our times. We need a large cadre of officials and decision makers who understand the ins and outs of phasing out carbon emissions.
Professor Sam Fankhauser, Research Director Oxford Net Zero

Executive education at the Smith School

In addition to world-leading teaching of undergraduates and graduates, our executive education programmes empower business leaders and policymakers to take action in their professional roles.  From tailored in-person workshops for board members to broader online courses which attract professional service staff at all levels, our training provision is stepping up to address the demand and the societal need to imprint sustainability in business.  Contact executive.education@smithschool.ox.ac.uk for more on our executive education.