The direct hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol using hydrogen is regarded as a potential technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels. For this technology to become feasible, highly selective and productive catalysts that can operate under a wide range of reaction conditions near thermodynamic conversion are required. Here we combine a CO-producing In oxide catalyst with a methane-producing Co catalyst to obtain an In/Co catalyst for CO2 reduction to methanol. Density functional (DFT) simulations demonstrate that the charge transfer between the Co support and the In oxide film leads to enrichment of the surface of indium oxide with O vacancies, which serve as active sites for selective conversion of CO2 to methanol. Moreover, our simulations suggest that CO2 reduction on Co-supported In2O3–x films will preferentially yield methanol, rather than CO and methane. As a result, the prepared In@Co catalysts produce methanol from CO2 with high selectivity (>80%) and productivity (0.86 gCH3OH gcatalyst–1 h–1) at conversion levels close to thermodynamic equilibrium, even at temperatures as high as 300 °C and at moderate pressures (50 bar).