The former chief executive of zero-carbon lobby group We Mean Business has been appointed as the UK government’s “high level climate action champion” ahead of this year’s COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow.
Nigel Topping will help drive action on climate change among businesses, investors, cities, and the regions – and coordinate the work with governments and other organisations in the runup to November’s event, the Cabinet Office said.
The role of high-level climate action champion was created in 2015 at the climate talks in Paris with the aim of helping to realise ambitions to lower carbon emissions and build resilience to climate change.
Topping, who was executive director of the Carbon Disclosure Project before taking the helm of We Mean Business, will work alongside Chilean COP high level climate action champion Gonzalo Muñoz in his two-year role.
COP26 president-designate Claire O’Neill said Topping would bring “incredible experience” in building coalitions and driving the focus on targets and actions to his posting.
“I am so pleased that Nigel has agreed to play this vitally important champion role in the year where we have to motivate everyone, from governments and businesses to regions, cities and citizens to commit to urgent climate action,” she said.
“He is the best person we could possibly have in this job and I’m so looking forward to working together this year.”
The Cabinet Office said Topping brought “valuable expertise from 18 years in the private sector” to the champion role, which included experience across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.