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Enugu appoints Prof. Okereke as Senior Adviser on Climate Change and Sustainable Development

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Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, an internationally recognised professor, has been appointed as the Special Adviser (SA) on Climate Policy and Sustainable Development to the Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Peter N. Mbah.

Prof. Okereke has been appointed to assist the state in designing and executing science-based climate policy, with the goal of contributing to the state’s long-term growth.

The Professor, who was born in Enugu, is an expert in climate governance, environmental policy, and international development. He is regarded as one of Africa’s leading researchers in the fields of climate justice, low-carbon development, and green economic transition.

Prof. Okereke holds a Chair in Global Governance and Public Policy at the prestigious School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol University, UK, and is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria. He is also a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, and a Senior Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford.

Over the last 20 years, Professor Okereke has maintained an extensive high-impact engagement with national governments, businesses, and NGOs in Africa and led several high-profile international projects on climate change policy, mainstreaming, and green economy transition in Africa.  He led the team that analysed the adaptation components of African NDCs for the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the direction of the bank’s Climate and Green Growth Division. He was the founding Project Manager of the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Project, which was the first ever national low-carbon plan in Africa.

Prof. Okereke was the technical leader of the Climate Change Bill Review Committee convened by the former Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamiala, and was responsible for developing several innovative aspects of the Climate Change Act, including the carbon budget and the DG position of the National Council on Climate Change.

Prof. Okereke has led several major national climate change research and policy initiatives, including the Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy, Nigeria’s Long-Term Vision, and Which Way Nigeria: Citizens Scenario 2060.

Prof. Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status are affirmed through his leadership roles in multiple high-profile global Scientist Assessment Projects and networks including as Coordinating Lead Author, of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report.

Prof. Okereke is an Awardee of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme of the United States Department of States, and he was recently elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in Developing Countries (UNESCO-TWAS) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to science and its promotion in the developing world.

Prof. Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status are demonstrated by his leadership roles in a number of high-profile global Scientist Assessment Projects and networks, including his role as Coordinating Lead Author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report. Prof. Okereke has received the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme Award from the United States Department of State, and he was recently elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries (UNESCO-TWAS) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science and its promotion in the developing world.

Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, Secretary to the Governor of Enugu State, who conveyed the appointment letter, stated that “the expectation is that Enugu State will significantly benefit from Prof. Okereke’s expertise and dedication during the tenure of his appointment.”

Onyia adds: “The anticipation is that Enugu State will significantly gain from Professor Okereke’s expertise and dedication during the tenure of his appointment.”

Commenting on the appointment, Prof. Okereke said: “I am very delighted to be contacted by His Excellency to be part of his transformation agenda in Enugu State to raise the climate consciousness of the state and help develop a science-based plan to reduce climate impacts in the state.

“In the spirit of tomorrow is here agenda of the state we have already started the campaign, I just trained 31 young climate leaders in Enugu State in urban greening and air quality measurements and carried out climate education exercises involving over 7,000 children from three public secondary schools in Enugu State and planting of over 100 economic and ornamental trees in strategic locations throughout the city under the International Visitors’ leadership programme (IVLP) impact award given to me by the U.S Department of State Bureau for Education and Cultural Affairs.

“This recognition will spur me to do more for my dear state in the area of climate awareness in keeping with the city’s reputation as a clean, ambient, and family-friendly metropolis.”

The position operates on a pro-bono basis and no salary or benefits are associated with it.