At the COP 21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris, governments agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action is urgently required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To connect the work of governments with the many voluntary and collaborative actions taken by cities, regions, businesses and investors, nations decided to appoint two high-level champions.
The champions will focus work on two crucial areas:
- Engage with interested Parties and non-Party stakeholders– This work will build on existing initiatives and support new and more geographically diverse initiatives. Focus will be placed on connecting initiatives and coalitions with national action plans such as nationally determined contributions (NDCs)to the Paris Agreement. This should bring more transparency, help with tracking results and lend demonstrable credibility to climate action.
- Provide guidance to the secretariat – Input from the champions efforts to mobilize action will help the secretariat organize technical expert meetings and, in collaboration with the Executive Secretary and the current and incoming Presidents of the Conference of the Parties, coordinate annual high-level events to spur even greater ambition and action.
Minister Inia Seruiratu
Inia Seruiratu has been the Fijian Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management since 2014. Prior to this he held ministerial appointments for fisheries, forestry and provincial development. For more than 10 years, Mr. Seruiratu served as chairperson, director and member of various national and international boards and bodies in both the private and public sector.
This experience gives Mr. Seruiratu in-depth insight into the dynamics of engaging with an array of actors and the intricacies of local and international policy development issues, including climate change. His experience cuts across different sectors, especially food security, agriculture, disaster risk reduction, rural development, fisheries and forestry. Mr. Seruiratu is a strong advocate for strengthening the resilience of local communities against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change and has experienced first-hand the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal erosion in his own village.
Special Envoy Tomasz Chruszczow
Tomasz Chruszczow is the Special Envoy for Climate Change from the Ministry of Environment in Poland. He was previously the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Head of the Polish delegation to the international climate change negotiations. In 2011, during the Polish Presidency of the EU Council, Mr. Chruszczow served as the President of the Working Party for International Environmental Issues and Chair of the EU delegation to the climate negotiations.