Policy and Governance

As climate change presents an unprecedented challenge, disparate sectors of society – policy makers, businesses and communities – that have not had cause to work together will need to communicate and collaborate in order to respond to the challenges posed by climate change. There are proponents of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches and those which identify a role for all to play, from international governments to households alike. Research is underway at Oxford to examine how interactions are changing to confront these challenges. Similarly, activities which seek to better understand the more participatory and fluid; less hierarchical and rigid forms of governance are in progress.


Work in this area is carried out by academics across disciplines; not only in political science, but also international relations, development, energy and business and management studies, philosophy, geography, law and economics amongst others. This is carried out on a range of scales from local to global, investigating issues such as the governance of low carbon development in Africa; and the links between government policy and corporate climate change strategies, as well exploring low-carbon economies of Oxfordshire.


To see which members of the network are working in this area please go to the ‘People’ page, either by clicking on the People tab in the menu or clicking here >>

Relevant Research Groups and Themes

Climate systems and policy

Researching new ways to improve the scientific basis for impacts/adaptation assessments and decision making.

Environmental and climate change economics

Combining economic theory with moral philosophy and environmental science and to draw conclusions about climate change and environmental regulation.

Private sector transformation

The research is dedicated to understanding and implementing the role and perspective of the private sector in transitioning to a sustainable, prosperous, resource-constrained economy.


Coordinates and influences research into adapting to climate change.


Co-ordinating initiative in the Environmental Change Institute working to increase the use and usefulness of the University’s environmental research in Oxfordshire and beyond.

Oxford Climate Policy

Oxford Climate Policy aims to build capacity in the context of the UN climate change negotiations, and is charged in particular with managing the Oxford Fellowship Programme of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ECBI).

Oxford Martin School Safe Carbon Initiative

By September 2016, the initiative aims to arrive at a set of actionable investment criteria that will provide a framework for constructive engagement between responsible investors and the fossil fuel industry, and that will allow both investors and the industry to play their part in securing the transition to a net zero world.

Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities

Cities all over the world face complex and rapidly evolving challenges, such as climate change, global migration flows, transnational governance demands, financial volatility, and expanding social inequalities. The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities aims towards rethinking the city as a flexible and dynamic space that better responds to evolving circumstances.

The Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Institute looks to apply leading-edge thinking from the social and physical sciences to global economic challenges.Our aim is to stimulate innovation and debate in economics, support visionary interdisciplinary research, and radically redefine the education of the next generation of economists, and business and government leaders.

Blavatnik School of Government (BSG)

The BSG aims to improve the quality of government and public policy-making worldwide, so that citizens can enjoy more secure and more fulfilled lives.