6 June 2022

Oxford delivers sustainable finance training to over 1,000 public and third sector executives in 12 months

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Over 1,000 influential civil servants, regulators, and representatives from civil society have undertaken a course with the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group, part of Oxford University, over the last 12 months, enabled by philanthropic funding from the IKEA Foundation and the European Climate Foundation.

The course has armed participants across the world with knowledge, networks and skills to help shift the direction of global capital away from unsustainable activities to those aligned with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The University of Oxford Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance (P3SA) launched its Introduction to Sustainable Finance Course in May 2021 and has since taught people from 82 countries and more than 250 organisations.

Over 40% of participants are from the global south including 32 from the Philippines Development Bank, 31 from Kenya’s central bank and capital markets regulator, 22 from Thailand’s central bank, 18 from Indonesia’s central bank, 14 from Egypt’s financial regulator, and 11 from Nigeria’s finance ministry.

The P3SA was established by the University of Oxford to be a global centre for learning and capacity building that enables public and third sector organisations to understand, and grasp the associated opportunities of, sustainable finance.

“The public and third sectors will not be able to help global economic and financial systems deliver better sustainability outcomes if they do not understand finance and investment,” explains Dr Ben Caldecott, Faculty Chair of P3SA and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford.

“The public and third sectors urgently need to develop broader and more in-depth capabilities in finance generally and sustainable finance in particular. This is currently a major capability gap and a persistent structural weakness that needs to be addressed systematically over time,” He added.

P3SA does this in a way that is a financially accessible for course participants and their organisations. Recognising that budgets for training are so often stretched the P3SA has provided all of its participants to date with free or heavily subsidised places. The provision of free places is prioritised for current and future leaders from developing countries.

Nando van Kleeff, IKEA Foundation Programme Manager, said, “At the IKEA Foundation, we believe that the financial sector has the power to change harmful systems because it provides the very framework upon which the global economy is built. Therefore, we’re proud to support Oxford Sustainable Finance Group’s work in creating the P3SA to provide the global financial sector with the expertise it needs to make a transition towards sustainable activities aligned with the Paris Agreement.”

Dr. Anna Irmisch, European Climate Foundation’s Private Financial Sector Program Manager, commented,“For the global financial system to play its part in tackling climate change it is important

that practitioners as well as financial policy and political decision makers are able to take informed decisions based on the latest science. The European Climate Foundation is supporting the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group in its targeted education efforts to help strengthen third sector and civil society capacity with free access to expertise in sustainable finance. Sharing knowledge equally world-wide is a powerful trigger for systemic change and accelerating the net zero transition.”

“This is the only course of its kind for the public and third sector employees,” said Andrew McCarthy, Head of Capacity Building and Partnerships at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and P3SA Deputy Director. “The Academy is becoming a significant agile resource for building capacity on sustainable finance among the public and third sectors globally.”

Christy O'Neil, a Project Officer for the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative who took the course, said, “The course was highly engaging and informative, and I am already seeing how my knowledge is useful in both professional and non-professional environments.”

Aranxa Sánchez joined the course from Mexico where she is Deputy Director of Sustainable Financing at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. She described how the course helped her understand “not only basic concepts in the financial system but also valuable insights from experts at the forefront of research in sustainable finance.”

The P3SA is focused on the mass delivery of its introductory course in its first year, with future courses, workshops, events in development and to be announced shortly.

More details and how to apply.

European Climate Foundation

This course has been supported by the European Climate Foundation. Responsibility for the information and views set out in it lies with the author[s]. The European Climate Foundation cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained or expressed therein.