SOAS University of London

SOAS Wins INSPIRE Research Grant to Investigate Options for Sustainable Crisis Response Measures

9 January 2020

Ulrich Volz to work with colleagues at the E3G think tank, Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and the South East Asian Central Banks Research and Training Centre (SEACEN) on response measures which could be deployed rapidly by central banks and other financial institutions in the context of a new financial crisis in a way that contributes to sustainability.

Together with colleagues at the Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) think tank, Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and the South East Asian Central Banks Research and Training Centre (SEACEN), Ulrich Volz has won a research grant by the International Network for Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research, and Exchange (INSPIRE) to investigate response measures which could be deployed rapidly by central banks and other financial institutions in the context of a new financial crisis in a way that contributes to sustainability. INSPIRE was established in 2019 to support the work of the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) through innovative research. This grant is the third research grant that SOAS has won from INSPIRE, following earlier successful grants for research projects on “Sovereign Risk and Climate Change” and “Greening the Eurosystem Collateral Framework”.

The last financial crisis revealed structural problems in the global economy and led to major interventions by financial authorities. With interest rates near zero, central banks cannot reuse the tools deployed following the 2008 crisis. New stimulus measures will be required which reflect the current economic context, including the urgent need to green the financial system and the global economy. There is little consensus as to what these measures should be. The literature in this area is plentiful and there is debate between advocates of different stimulus tools, although only few contributions have considered sustainability impacts. The research project will review existing proposals and present a menu of green post-crisis management tools for central bankers, financial regulators and governments, with an evaluation of their sustainability-related risks and benefits. The project will consider their suitability for policy responses in Europe, Asia and North America. The project will be conducted throughout 2020. Further information can be found on the project website.


The project builds on the expertise SOAS has developed in the area of sustainable finance. In spring 2019, SOAS established the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance as an interdisciplinary research hub bundling expertise from across SOAS in sustainable and climate-related finance and its role in transitioning the world to a low-carbon, resilient and equitable future. The Centre’s researchers address issues such as green financial
governance; the scaling up of resilience investment in climate vulnerable economies; climate and environmental risk for public and corporate investors; climate vulnerability and the cost of capital; financing of the SDGs; and renewable energy investment. The Centre seeks to develop cutting-edge knowledge and understanding of climate and sustainable finance in both the Global North and South and acts as a focal point for economic and policy debates in this area.


For further information, please contact: Ulrich Volz