Francisco Ascui Headshot

Senior Lecturer in Business and Climate Change

Roles and Responsibilities

Director (International), Centre for Business and Climate Change


Francisco Ascui is an internationally-recognised expert in environmental accounting and finance, with over 20 years’ experience across business, government and academia. He has a BA with First Class Honours from the University of Tasmania, an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, an MBA from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, and a PhD in carbon accounting from the University of Edinburgh Business School.

In addition to his part-time role as a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Business and Climate Change at the University of Edinburgh Business School, he holds honorary associate roles at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tasmania. He is also active as an international consultant, having successfully delivered over 100 projects in more than 20 different countries for clients including multilateral agencies, governments, investment banks and corporations. He is a member of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) Technical Working Group, a past member of the Woodland Carbon Code Advisory Board and a former Trustee and Director of the Plan Vivo Foundation. He is also a registered UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) expert and recognised as a Leader (in the top 5% of advisors globally) by Gerson Lehrman Group, an advisory network for the financial services industry.

Francisco spent 10 years working in energy and carbon markets before joining the University of Edinburgh Business School in 2009. At the School, he co-founded and directed the Centre for Business and Climate Change and developed the world’s first MSc in Climate Change Finance and Investment, which he directed from 2011-2014. Over the past 10 years he has play a key role in winning research grants worth over £4m, plus a further £1m in executive education and training.

Research Taxonomy

Research Interests

Francisco’s research focuses on three related areas: carbon accounting, carbon market design, and natural capital accounting. In each case he is interested in exploring how new practices and institutions come about, what work they do, the actors involved, how procedures and standards emerge and what might be the implications of alternative practices, in terms of the effects on investment and, ultimately, environmental outcomes. His work on carbon accounting formed the basis of a top-rated (4*) UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 impact case study, identified by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as one of 50 landmark research contributions over the last 50 years. Since 2015 he has pioneered the development of a new approach to evaluating natural capital credit risk in agricultural lending, now published as an official guide by the Natural Capital Finance Alliance.

Research Area