UN Climate Change High-Level Champions bring non-State actor voices to Egypt-ICF

By Climate Champions | September 8, 2022

UN Climate Change High-Level Champions for COP26 and COP27, Nigel Topping and Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, will attend the 2nd edition of Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (ICF) and the Meeting of African Ministers of Finance, Economy and Environment for COP27 on 7-9 September.

With just two months to go until Egypt hosts COP27, their attendance is part of efforts to mainstream climate action and drive up innovative solutions that open access to finance and technology, while supporting the COP27 Presidency’s focus on implementation.

A key priority for the High-Level Champions is mobilizing the collective efforts of non-State actors via the Marrakech Partnership to engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue for a just transition, as well as to advance breakthroughs on adaptation and resilience, and decarbonization by 2030.

Nigel Topping and Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin are available for media interviews Weds, Sept 7  – Friday, Sept 9. 

At the ICF, the Champions will participate in closed door roundtable discussions and panels, highlighting the critical role of non-State actors, especially private sector finance, in mobilizing capital to support climate solutions. They will highlight efforts focused on developing economies in particular.  This includes:

  • Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Nigel Topping participating in panels and closed door discussions on: moving from implementation to action; the nexus of water, food and energy; debt sustainability and reducing the cost of borrowing; and sustainable infrastructure.
  • Sharing early readouts and insights from the first three of a series of five Regional Economic Forums that the Champions are co-hosting with the COP27 Presidency and the UN Regional Commissions before COP27. The series, called “Towards COP27: Regional Forums on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs,” brings together key stakeholders from public and private sectors in each region, to catalyze additional private sector investment in climate mitigation and adaptation in line with the SDGs. Participants in the first three forums, held in: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Santiago, Chile, have discussed more than 30 projects, showcasing regionally and nationally led climate solutions and connecting them with financial actors to help scale and accelerate their implementation. Key takeaways from past forums are:


The High-Level Champions are appointed each year by the COP Presidency to mobilize climate leadership from non-State actors in support of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Through their flagship campaigns, Race to Resilience, Race to Zero and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and a broad range of partners, they work with businesses, cities, states, investors and civil society all around the world to mobilize voluntary non-State actor leadership on adaptation and resilience, mitigation and finance.

The Race to Resilience, Race to Zero and GFANZ are umbrella campaigns made up of partner organizations and initiatives through which non-State actors (cities, states, regions, businesses, investors, etc) commit to taking action to increase resilience, reduce emissions and channel finance to climate solutions. Together the campaigns include over 50 partner initiatives, over 10,000 non-State actors, and are committed to increasing resilience for billions of people, reducing emissions in line with science and aligning over $130 trillion in financial assets with a resilient, net zero future.

In addition to the High-Level Champions for COP26 and COP27, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion’s Special Advisor & Africa Director and Team Finance Lead are at ICF participating in panels, roundtables and events on September 7-9 and are available for media interviews. 




Dr. Mohieldin, is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in international finance and development. He is an Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. He has been the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda since February 2020.

He was Minister of Investment of Egypt from 2004-2010, and most recently, served as the World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships.

Mr. Mohieldin also served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector. His professional experience extends into the academic arena as a Professor of Economics and Finance at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University and as a Visiting Professor at several renowned Universities in Egypt, Korea, the UAE, the UK and the USA. He also holds leading positions in national, regional and international research centers and economic associations.

Mr. Mohieldin holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom; a Master’s in Economics and Social Policy Analysis from the University of York, United Kingdom; a Diploma of Development Economics from the University of Warwick; and a B.Sc. in Economics from Cairo University.

He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of economics, finance and development.



Nigel Topping is the UN’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020 and will serve until COP27.

Since his appointment, Nigel, alongside the COP25 High Level Champion Gonzalo Muñoz, established the Race to Zero – a global campaign to commit all actors to net zero by 2050, the Race to Resilience – a global campaign for secure the resilience of 4 billion people by 2030, and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) – a coalition of existing and new net zero finance initiatives. He is now working with the COP27 High Level Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin to forward these campaigns for COP27.

Prior to his appointment, Nigel was CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18 year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing. He holds a MSc in Holistic Science from the Schumacher College and an MA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Bogolo Kenewendo, Climate Champion’s new Special Advisor, Africa Director

Bogolo J. Kenewendo is a global economist with deep expertise in international trade and development. She has a particular focus on Pan-African development and a passion for accelerating digitization and innovation across the continent.

She served as the Cabinet Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry in Botswana where she implemented reforms to significantly improve the ease of doing business, open up both domestic and international markets, and position the country to succeed in the global value chains as well as the digital economy. During her tenure, she was the youngest Cabinet Minister in Africa and in Botswana’s history. She has received global recognition for her work, being appointed as a member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, Senior Africa Advisor to Jack Ma Foundation and Africa Business Heroes, Jury for the FAO Africa Innovation Prize, a member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and group on Financing for Development, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, WEF Trade Action Group and a WEF Young Global Leader. Kenewendo is also a vocal advocate for gender equity and the protection of children’s rights.

She currently serves as the Africa Director & Special Advisor for UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory, a Non-resident Fellow at Center for Global Development, and sits on multiple corporate boards

Sagarika Chatterjee, Climate Champions Team Finance Lead

Sagarika is a global finance professional and leads the Climate Champions finance team’s work across investors, banks and insurers.  The team’s focus areas in 2022 include the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), developing countries, resilience and adaptation, and nature-based solutions.

Sagarika was on part-time secondment to the Champions in 2021 and helped establish the GFANZ and private finance action towards COP26.  Prior to the Champions, Sagarika was the UN-supported PRI’s Director of Climate Change and Environment, with 5,000 members worldwide, and co-headed the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance secretariat which she helped found in 2019.

Sagarika has been seconded to Aviva Investors where she supported Aviva’s work on the inaugural TCFD recommendations,  worked for over ten years at F&C Asset Management, served as an investment committee member for Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a trustee for Earthwatch and sourced timber for B&Q.

Sagarika has an MSc in Development Studies from University of London, a Management Studies Diploma from the University of Oxford and a BA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.  Sagarika is bilingual in English and Bengali.

For media inquiries, please, contact Matthew Phillips matthewphillips@climatechampions.team.



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Bogolo Kenewendo is a global leader in Pan-African development, specialising in sustainable trade and investment, and accelerating innovation across the continent. Until recently, Bogolo was the Special Advisor to the UN Climate Change High-Level Climate Champions, and Africa Director, where she played a leading role in implementing the Champions’ plans for accelerating ambition and action […]