Who are the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions?
By Climate Champions | February 28, 2022
At the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, governments agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action is urgently required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To connect the work of governments with the many voluntary and collaborative actions taken by cities, regions, businesses and investors, nations decided to appoint two High Level Champions.
Over the past two years, the High-Level Champions for COP25 and COP26 — Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping — established the Climate Champions Team to help deliver on their mandate to enhance ambition and strengthen the engagement of non-state actors in supporting Parties, working with the Marrakech Partnership, to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement.
At COP26, parties and non-state actors welcomed the progress and the plans for “Implementing the Improved Marrakech Partnership for Enhancing Ambition.”
In February, the Climate Champions welcomed Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt. Together with Mr Topping, Dr Mohieldin will help build on the legacy of their predecessors to engage with non state actors and activate the ‘ambition loop’ with national governments.
High-Level Champion of Egypt: Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin
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. His roles at the World Bank also included Managing Director, responsible for Human Development, Sustainable Development, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, Finance and Private Sector Development, and the World Bank Institute; World Bank President’s Special Envoy on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Post-2015 Development Agenda (later, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)), and Financing for Development; and Corporate Secretary and Executive Secretary to the Development Committee of the World Bank Group’s Board of Governors.
Mr. Mohieldin also served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector. He was a member of the Commission on Growth and Development and selected a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2005. 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 is a member of the International Advisory Board of Durham University Business School. 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 also participated in high-level certification programmes at Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University. In 2018, the American University in Cairo conferred upon him the honorary degree of doctor of Humane Letters “in recognition of renowned attainments and achievements”.
He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of economics, finance and development. @UNenvoyMM
High-Level Champion of United Kingdom: Nigel Topping
Mr. Nigel Topping was the CEO of We Mean Business until December 2019, where he drove radical collaboration for climate action among NGOs working with the world’s most influential businesses. This coalition played a key role in bringing the constructive voice of business in support of the Paris Agreement and, under Nigel’s leadership has continued to drive ambition and action to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
Previously, Nigel was Executive Director of CDP, launching new programs and partnerships including supply chain, water, forests and cities. Nigel has 18 years’ experience in the private sector, including as a member of the management board of the world’s largest manufacturer of brake pads, TMD Friction.
Nigel is a commissioner on the Energy Transitions Commission and has been instrumental in the launch of many collaborative initiatives such as Science Based Targets, Business for Nature and the Global Commons Alliance.
He holds an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK and an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, Devon, UK. @topnigel
Together, with the Climate Champions team, their task is to:
A. Engage with interested Parties and non-Party stakeholders, including furthering the voluntary initiatives of the Lima–Paris Action Agenda:
1. Build on existing initiatives, and supporting new and more geographically diverse initiatives;
2. Connect initiatives and coalitions with national action plans such as nationally determined contributions (NDCs);
3. Bring more transparency, tracking results and demonstrating credibility.
B. Provide guidance to the secretariat on the organization of technical expert meetings, and working with the Executive Secretary and the current and incoming Presidents of the Conference of the Parties to coordinate annual high-level events.