person

Dr Steve Smith

Executive Director, Oxford Net Zero and CO2RE

Profile

Steve is Executive Director of two programmes led by the Smith School, both focussed on stabilising the climate both rapidly and sustainably.

The Oxford Net Zero Initiative brings together experts from across the University to address the critical issue of how to reach global net zero emissions. It includes leading academics from disciplines including Anthropology, Biology, Earth Sciences, Geography, Law, Business and Governance. The initiative not only provides multi-disciplinary research but also tools and new resources for policymakers and businesses.

CO2RE is a multi-disciplinary research hub focused on removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Backed by seven UK universities, CO2RE works with demonstration-scale removal projects around the country and conducts solutions-led research to encourage and evaluate a balanced portfolio of economically, socially and environmentally scalable techniques.

Steve's research interests lie at the intersection of climate science and policy. He has published on a range of topics including metrics for comparing the emissions of different greenhouse gases, and the governance of carbon dioxide removal. He is co-developer of a major global stocktake of net zero pledges.

He joined the Smith School from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) where he co-led the Climate Science Team and played a role in the legislation of the UK's net zero target. Before that he was Head of Science at the Committee on Climate Change. He has a PhD in atmospheric physics from Imperial College London and is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Alongside continuing to advise government, businesses and multiple agencies, Steve communicates climate change to children and wider audiences. He helped write Climate Crisis for Beginners by Usborne Books, and was a contributor to the Ladybird book on Climate Change.

Projects

Teaching

Steve is open to supervising graduate students with an interest in climate action and policy, particularly those with skills in numerical analysis and coding, in the following topics:

  • Evaluating deep decarbonisation commitments by countries and companies
  • Economics, policies and systemic impacts of greenhouse gas removal techniques

Selected publications

Journal articles

Reports