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Prof. Okereke appointed as Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Sustainable Development

By Ojugbele Omotunde

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, an internationally recognized expert in climate governance, environmental policy, and international development, has been appointed as the Special Adviser on Climate Policy and Sustainable Development to the Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Peter N. Mbah.

Okereke aims to assist the state in designing and executing science-based climate policies for long-term growth.

He has been appointed to the transformation agenda in Enugu State, Nigeria, to raise climate consciousness and develop a science-based plan to reduce climate impacts.

He has already started a campaign training 31 young climate leaders in urban greening and air quality measurements, carried out climate education exercises involving over 7,000 children from three public secondary schools, and planted over 100 economic and ornamental trees in strategic locations.

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

Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status are demonstrated by his roles in 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.

He has received the International Visitor Leadership Programme Award from the US Department of State and was recently elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries (UNESCO-TWAS).

A distinguished authority on public policy and global governance, Prof. Okereke has a chair at the University of Bristol and is the director of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike’s Center for Climate Change and Development.

His leadership experience includes leading multiple international projects on climate change policy, mainstreaming, and the transformation of Africa to a green economy.

He was the founding Project Manager of the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Project and analyzed adaptation components for the African Development Bank.

Prof. Okereke is a leading figure in Nigeria’s climate change research and policy initiatives, including the Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy and Nigeria’s Long-Term Vision.

He has also held leadership roles in global scientist assessments and networks, including the IPCC Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report.

Prof. Okereke, a former Speaker of the House, led the Climate Change Bill Review Committee and developed innovative aspects of the Act, including the carbon budget and the DG position.

He is an Awardee of the International Visitor Leadership Programme and a Fellow of UNESCO-TWAS, recognizing his outstanding contributions to science promotion in developing countries.

Enugu State’s Secretary to the Governor, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, who conveyed the appointment letter expressed the expectation that the state will greatly benefit from Prof. Okereke’s expertise and dedication during his tenure, stating that it is a significant step forward.

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