Dr Radhika Khosla

Associate Professor


Dr Radhika Khosla is Associate Professor at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, School of Geography and the Environment, and Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, Somerville College, at the University of Oxford. She is the Programme Leader in Zero Carbon Energy Use at Oxford’s ZERO Institute. 

An urban climatologist by training, her work seeks to advance understanding of one of the most fundamental questions of our time: how can societies improve human well-being while preserving and enhancing the environment? Her interdisciplinary research examines the productive tensions between energy consumption trajectories, urban transitions, and climate change governance – in the context of development – that lie at the heart of this global challenge. Her research portfolio includes being Principal Investigator of the Oxford Martin School's interdisciplinary and multi-country programme on the Future of Cooling, which examines and helps shape the unprecedented increase in cooling energy demand growth and its relationship to the sustainable development goals. She is the Co-Investigator of Oxford Net Zero, an interdisciplinary research programme aimed at informing effective, equitable, and ambitious climate action.

Radhika works closely at the interface of research and policy. She is Special Advisor to the UK’s House of Commons Environment Audit Committee for the inquiry on heat resilience and sustainable cooling. She serves on the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office UK-India Advisory Board. 

She has worked on a number of international scientific reports and is the lead author of the UNEP’s spotlight report on the first Global Cooling Stocktake (2023), lead author of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report (2020) for the chapter on low carbon lifestyles, and contributing author to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (2022) for the buildings chapter. 

Radhika has led research agendas and international knowledge networks on cooling, urban energy demand, sustainable development, and climate change policy. Using socio-technical systems analysis she examines these themes across levels of governance. Her research priorities include interrogating how, when, and why does energy use change as households urbanize and lifestyles change? What forms of governance and political rationalities characterize the varied urban responses to climate change, given their (often competing) objectives to provide urban services? Whether, and how, can emerging economies accelerate energy demand transitions? And how can we understand and equitably shape the future of global cooling demand?

As Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, she helps bridge research and networks on India at Oxford and international and was recognized as one of the ‘most influential people’ in UK-India relations (2019).

Radhika's other current academic affiliations are at University of Pennsylvania (USA), and the Centre for Policy Research (India). She is on the Steering Committee of the Smart Surfaces Coalition; on boards of journals and book presses; and holds a range of advisory roles within Oxford. Previously, she has been a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (India), and Staff Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (USA).

Radhika holds a PhD in the Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate and master's degrees in Physics from the University of Oxford.





  • Spaces, Infrastructure and Technology for Net Zero, Sustainable Development, for the MSc in Enterprise and the Environment
  • Governance, Policy and Politics for the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, School of Geography and the Environment
  • Environmental Governance and Development for the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, School of Geography and the Environment
  • Climate Change Negotiations: Policy Challenge for the Master's in Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford Program for MBA students, Saïd Business School
  • Climate Change School, Oxford Climate Society, University of Oxford

Current graduate research students


Media coverage

Radhika's research has been covered widely including by The New York Times, The Times, Reuters, the FT, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Times of India, The Conversation and Carbon Brief, and she has appeared on podcasts and broadcast television including the Sky News Daily Climate Show.