10 May 2022

Bank of America in key partnership with Oxford Smith School to support climate and sustainable finance research

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Bank of America pledges £1.2m to the University of Oxford to support ground-breaking greenhouse gas removal and sustainable finance research at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

Bank of America has pledged £1.2 million to the University of Oxford to support greenhouse gas and sustainable finance research at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. This research will inform key decisions made in the financial services sector and offer implementable and equitable interventions to ensure business models are scalable and sustainable.

This is the first partnership of its kind for Bank of America in Europe and marks the beginning of a key partnership with the Smith School. The funding will not only support 3 years of cutting edge research in the two core areas of focus, but will also provide funding for a Director’s Research fund that will enable the School to seize ground-breaking, but otherwise unfunded sustainable research opportunities. 

Bernard Mensah, President of international at Bank of America, said: 

Successful partnerships between business, academia and governments are critical if we are to accelerate the transition to sustainable, secure and affordable energy and bring forward the path to net zero. With the support of Bank of America, the work of the Oxford Smith School now has the potential to transform scalable carbon capture and greenhouse gas removal and also the integration of nature-based metrics into sustainable finance frameworks.

We are delighted to be able to help advance research with the potential to unlock completely new information and ideas that could help financial institutions and their clients attain a sustainable trajectory by 2030.

Professor Cameron Hepburn, Director of the Smith School, commented:

We are delighted to partner with Bank of America in these two research partnerships. We are also hugely grateful for their gift to the University. This partnership will enable us to expand Smith School research in sustainable finance and greenhouse gas removal, both of which are critical as we move from an era of climate change debate, to one of action.

One researcher will be based at the Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub (CO₂RE), focussing on taking greenhouse gases out of the air in economically, socially, and environmentally-scalable ways. This research hub is an Oxford-led consortium directed by Dr Stephen Smith

The other researcher will be based at both the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI). They will focus on spatial finance and the integration of nature-related factors into financial decision-making. The Group and CGFI are both led by Dr Ben Caldecott.

The Smith School's capacity to drive systemic change in actively addressing environmental challenges was recognised in 2021 with significant wins of governmental backing to CO₂RE and CGFI, where these research posts will be based. A world class, global institution with huge international networks and convening power. To date, the School has worked with 20 different governments around the world on green recovery plans and its research directly informs global financial institutions worldwide.