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.

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High-Level Champion of Egypt: Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin


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.

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