By Gabriel-Eddie Njoroge
Professor Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, has been nominated as one of the 100 most influential people in climate policy in 2019 by Apolitical, a peer-to-peer learning platform for governments.
Prof. Nyong, a globally recognized climate change expert, was named among the top 20 on the prestigious listing announced in London.
He joined the bank in 2008 as the pioneer climate change expert and built up the bank’s first climate change initiatives. He was promoted to the head the Climate Change, Gender and Sustainable Development Unit and initiated the bank’s Green Growth Agenda, working on developmental issues to unlock the continent’s renewable energy potential.
Prior to joining the bank, he worked for the International Development Research Centre, based in the eastern and southern Africa Regional Office in Nairobi as a senior program specialist in climate change from 2006. In this role, Nyong successfully mobilized substantial resources to set up the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program that has significantly built adaptation capacity in Africa.
He was also a coordinating lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was a co-recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions. He has served as the Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the bank from 1st January 2017.
“We are delighted by this nomination of one of our own to this list,” bank Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott said. “It is a worthy recognition of his – and the bank’s -commitment to respond to climate change threats on our continent, which remains disproportionately affected.”
Apolitical’s list celebrates inspirational leaders, politicians, advocates, youth activists, academics and diplomats from all over the world whose work is indispensable to raising awareness.
It includes Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who sparked off a worldwide movement to fight against global warming, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest ever US Congresswoman and lead advocate of the Green New Deal, Patricia Espinosa, and David Attenborough, world-renowned British historian.
The list was compiled from hundreds of nominations from governments, international organizations and academia, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Harvard, Oxford, Bloomberg and the Climate Action Network.
“It is an honor to be acknowledged amongst such an influential list of leaders who are passionate and actively working to influence policy and make a tangible difference towards addressing global climate change,” said Nyong. “Climate change has evolved from an environmental worry to a threat on global development, particularly in Africa.”
He noted that the African Development Bank, under the leadership of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has demonstrated a strong commitment at both policy and implementation level to climate compatible development in Africa.