Alex Clark

Global China Pre-doctoral Research Fellow

Education
PhD Candidate, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford
Email
alex.clark@smithschool.ox.ac.uk

Alex Clark was a Global China Pre-doctoral Research Fellow at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center from 2021-2022. He is currently a PhD researcher at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the identification and transmission of fossil-fuel related economic risks in the public sector, and how governments and their agents (particularly state-owned enterprises, SOEs) should respond to these risks. His work focuses on China, both internally and in its role as a global actor in the energy and power sectors. Alongside this research, Alex supports Oxford’s engagement with policymakers and academics in China as part of the Economics of Energy Innovation and Systems Transition (EEIST) project, and works with colleagues at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme on the real economy impact of sustainable finance instruments. Alex is a Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, a Europaeum Scholar, and a 2021 Young Scientists Summer Programme fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He also works as a consultant to the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI).

Prior to Oxford, Alex worked as a full-time climate finance analyst at CPI, a non-profit organization specializing in climate and energy finance. He co-authored a study on implementing alignment with the Paris Agreement for members of the International Development Finance Club; led data development and processing for the 2019 Global Landscape of Climate Finance; and supported the development of a financial mechanism for accelerating electric bus deployment with the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. He has worked with clients including the Green Climate Fund, ClimateWorks Foundation and European Climate Foundation.

Alex’s current research revolves around developing a new approach to evaluating stranded asset and labour risks from the perspective of governments and state-owned enterprises, with a particular focus on China in the context of post-COVID-19 stimulus measures and the continuation of approvals for new coal-fired power generation capacity. Much research to date on stranded assets has implicitly assumed asset owners to be profit maximizing private sector actors, which is of limited use in economies with a significant state presence. Through his research, Alex hopes to understand and model the behavior and incentives of SOEs in detail, and in so doing help design policies and institutions better suited to a rapid, just and permanent transition to a net zero emissions economy.

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