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Mrs Ogunbiyi is the new British-Nigerian co-chair of UK COP26 energy transition council

The United Kingdom has appointed Damilola Ogunbiyi as a co-chair of the UN Climate Change Conference’s (COP26) Energy Transition Council as the country kicks off Climate Week 2020.

The UK CoP President, Alok Sharma, will chair the council alongside Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Alok Sharma made the announcement just yesterday while speaking at a special event, talking about Ford’s project and Facebook to join the campaign to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

Damilola Ogunbiyi CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy Damilola Ogunbiyi. Image credit Sustainable Energy for All

Before her appointment by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in October 2019, Ogunbiyi, from Nigerian origins, held various leadership positions in organizations focused on expanding energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining SEforALL, Damilola Ogunbiyi was the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency and responsible for successfully negotiating within 18 months the Nigerian Electrification Project which is a USD 550m facility (World Bank USD 350m and AfDB USD 200m) to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria. She was also responsible for the Energizing Education Programme which will provide uninterrupted electricity to 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals through off-grid captive power.

Her career then progressed year after year, until, in June 2020, the United States International Development Finance Corporation Board of Directors named her among the first members of the agency’s inaugural Development Advisory Council.

This comes after the UK Government announced a new £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility that will help developing countries get easier access to innovative clean energy technologies, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.

Image credit Sustainable Energy for All

Currently, major companies are joining the Race to Zero campaign to accelerate net-zero carbon emission commitments alongside political and industry leaders keen on taking a step further during the next decade of clean energy co-operation.

Ogunbiyi to this regard said: “We cannot achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement or Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – without a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.” “Today, just under 800 million people globally lack access to electricity and we must close these gaps with renewable, efficient and affordable solutions.”


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