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United Nations appoints 4 Nigerians, others into finance group for High-Level Dialogue on Energy

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The United Nations has appointed four Nigerians in a technical working group on finance and investment alongside four other groups that will prepare an action-oriented global roadmap for achieving affordable and clean energy for all by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The 21-member team made up of technocrats in the global energy sector includes Nigeria’s Abiodun Aina, senior investment officer at International Finance Corporation (IFC); Tariye Gbadegesin, managing director at ARM Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited; Wiebe Boer, CEO at All On; and Chris Chijiutomi, director, head of Infrastructure Equity at CDC Group.

The technical working group will focus on how public and private finance and investment can be mobilized and leveraged to achieve the 2025 Milestones, SDG7, and carbon neutrality, taking also into consideration enabling mechanisms such as the fiscal response to COVID-19, fossil fuel subsidy reform; green investment regulation; risk management and insurance.

The working Group on Finance and Investment is also expected to partner with the European Investment Bank (EIB), International Energy Agency (IEA), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) as co-leads.

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Other members of the technical group on finance and investment includes Mohammed Alsayed, manager of Economic Infrastructure at IsDB; Anunya Bahanda, Intern at Savo Project Developers; Antonella Baldino, Head at CDP International Development Finance; Héla Cheikhrouhou, Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Nithio; Anton Eberhard, Professor Emeritus at University of Cape Town, South Africa; Andrew Herscowitz, Chief Development Officer at DFC; Heidi Huusko, senior manager, Environment and Climate at UN Global Compact.

The team also includes Filip Koprčina, Founder of Energy Shift; Najada Kumbuli, Head of investment at Visa Foundation; Leslie Labruto, Head of Global Energy at Acumen; Teddy Mugabo, CEO at Fonerwa; Joseph Nganga, Executive Director at Smart Power Africa; Hong Paterson, Chief Investment Officer at Green Climate Fund; Josefina Stubbs, Project Manager at Res4Africa Foundation; Cecilia Tam, Head of OECD Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation and Valeria Termini, Professor of Political Economics at Università degli Studi di Roma Tre,Italy.

The UN noted that each Technical Working Group which will be launched in February is expected to hold several virtual meetings through May after which they will produce a thematic report reviewing key issues and putting forward recommendations for elements of the global roadmap.

The reports will provide the substantive foundation for five Ministerial-level Thematic Forums to be hosted by Member State Global Theme Champions, with participation from many stakeholders, during June/July.

“A summary of the Ministerial-level Thematic Forums will inform the outcome of the Dialogue. The membership of each working group will consist of 25-40 technical experts representing Government and international agencies, businesses, development banks, civil society organizations, academic institutions, and others,” UN said in a statement seen by BusinessDay.

The High-level Dialogue, to be convened by the UN Secretary-General, will also galvanize voluntary commitments and actions in the form of Energy Compacts that national governments, cities, businesses, and civil society organizations will present as contributions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 and net-zero emissions, at the same time addressing the climate crisis and feeding into United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC) in November 2021.