United Kingdom names Nigel Topping as High Level Climate Action Champion

On January 23, the designated presidency of COP26, United Kingdom, announced Nigel Topping as the new High Level Climate Action Champion.

Topping joins the work being done by Gonzalo Muñoz, High Level Climate Action Champion of COP25, encouraging businesses, investors, organizations, cities, and regions to join the climate action, and coordinating this work with governments and Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Champion role was created in 2015 at the climate talks in Paris to help realise ambitions to lower carbon emissions and build resilience to climate change.

Topping was most recently 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. He has 18 years of experience in the private sector.

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of High Level Champion to support a successful COP26. I will work tirelessly with the non-state actor community to help bring the very best of their work to Glasgow. 2020 is the year for us all to become climate champions and the start of a decade in which we reduce emissions by at least 50 per cent. This will require each one of us pushing our actions to the limit, then taking another step,”said Nigel Topping.

“We wish to welcome Nigel Topping, the High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26. The United Kingdom has chosen to follow Chile’s footsteps by assigning the role of Climate Champion to a distinguished figure from the private sector. The role of these Champions is to mobilize climate action among non-state actors, with each Champion remaining in post for two years. This means that 2020 will be the first year that the climate process brings together two Champions from non-state organizations. We hope it will also be a year that accelerates private sector action, building on the Climate Ambition Alliance led by Chile since the summit of the United Nations Secretary General in September last year,” said COP25 President Carolina Schmidt.

The UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, added: “I am very pleased to welcome Nigel Topping as the new High-Level Champion. We have seen incredible momentum from non-state actors as we work towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and continue to boost climate ambition in all sectors of society. I’m confident Mr Topping brings the skills and experience needed to keep the momentum going and achieve the deep transformation to reach a zero-carbon future.”

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