News >> Schumacher College alumnus is given prestigious role

Schumacher College alumnus is given prestigious role

nigel topping
Monday, 27 January, 2020

A GRADUATE of Schumacher College has been appointed by the UK Government as its High Level Climate Action Champion at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference.

Nigel Topping, who graduated from MSc Holistic Science, will be responsible for driving action on climate change from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions. He will also be ensuring the work is coordinated with governments and parties signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC is expected to take place in Glasgow in November.

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. It is held for two years and Mr Topping will work alongside the Chilean COP25 High Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz.

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of High Level Champion to support a successful COP26," said Nigel. "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."

Nigel brings expertise from 18 years in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing. He has held a number of senior positions including CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy and Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

COP26 President-Designate Claire O’Neill said: “I am so pleased that Nigel Topping 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. Nigel’s incredible experience in building coalitions and driving the focus on targets and actions means he is the best person we could possibly have in this job and I’m so looking forward to working together this year.”

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “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.”

Nigel has taken a sabbatical from his role as a Dartington Hall Trustee in order to fulfil his new role.