UN Secretary-General António Guterres today launched his Expert Group to develop stronger and clearer standards for net-zero emissions pledges by non-State entities – including businesses, investors, cities and regions – and speed up their implementation.
The launch of the High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities comes amid a worsening climate crisis and growing urgency for all commitments to be transparent, credible, backed by robust implementation plans, and converted into real emissions cuts as rapidly as possible.
The Group will be chaired by Ms. Catherine McKenna, former Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“The recent avalanche of net-zero pledges by businesses, investors, cities and regions will be vital to keep 1.5°C alive and to build towards a safe and healthy planet, but only if all pledges have transparent plans, robust near-term action, and are implemented in full,” Ms. McKenna said.
The Members of the Group are listed below, with biographical details. Further members may be added in the period ahead.
Ms. Amanda Starbuck (United Kingdom) is the Program Director of “The Sunrise Project”, a prominent civil society organization. Prior to that, Ms. Starbuck served as the programme director for Greenpeace in South America, responsible for setting the strategic direction and priority campaigns across the region. Previously, she led the global finance team at the Rainforest Action Network.
Mr. Arunabha Ghosh (India) is the CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a climate and energy think tank in India and the world. Dr. Ghosh also serves on the Government of India's G20 Advisory Group. He previously acted as the Co-Chair of the energy, environment and climate change track for India’s Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP2020).
Mr. Bill Hare (Australia) is the co-founder and CEO of Climate Analytics, an international non-profit climate science and policy institute based in Germany. Mr. Hare was also a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report and has supported international and regional scientific assessment processes in different capacities.
Ms. Camila Escobar (Colombia) is the CEO at Juan Valdez Café. Ms. Escobar was a former manager at Belcorp - a multinational cosmetics company present in 14 LAC countries - and McKinsey.
Mr. Carlos Lopes (Guinea Bissau) is the Commissioner at the Global Commission for Economy and Climate. Mr. Lopes is currently serving as a professor at the University of Cape Town, a visiting professor at Sciences Po, and an associate fellow in the Africa Programme and Chatham House. Mr. Lopes is the former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.
Ms. Catherine McKenna (Canada) is Canada’s former Minister of Environment and Climate Change from 2015 to 2019 and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities from 2019 to 2021. Ms. McKenna is a founder and principal of Climate and Nature Solutions and of Women Leading on Climate launched at COP26 in Glasgow.
Mr. Günther Thallinger (Austria) is a member of the Board of Allianz Group and Chairperson of the Group’s ESG Board. Mr. Thallinger also serves as the Chair of the UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance.
Ms. Helena Viñes Fiestas (Spain) is the Commissioner of the Spanish Financial Markets Authority and Rapporteur of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance. Ms. Fiestas previously served as a senior policy adviser on sustainable finance at BNP Paribas.
Ms. Jessica Omukuti (Kenya) is a research fellow on inclusive net zero at the Oxford Net-Zero Institute for Science Innovation and Society (InSIS), Oxford University. Her research is focused on understanding how responses to climate change affect societies in the global South.
Mr. Joaquim Levy (Brazil) is the Director for Economic Strategy and Market Relations at Banco Safra S.A. Mr. Levy served as Minister for Finance of Brazil (2014-2015), Managing Director and CFO of the World Bank Group (2016-2018), and President of the Brazilian Development Bank (2018-2019).
Ms. Malango Mughogho (Malawi/South Africa) is Managing Director of ZeniZeni Sustainable Finance. Ms. Mughogho led the team that developed the early stages of South Africa’s National Climate Finance Strategy and she currently serves as a climate finance expert on the Regional Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership’s Southern Africa Coordination Unit. Among other things, Ms. Mughogho co-authored UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook 6 for Business brief entitled ‘Changing finance to catalyze transformation: how financial institutions can accelerate the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy’.
Ms. Mary Nichols (United States) is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. Ms. Nichols is former Chair of the California Air Resources Board, and she served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources between 1999 and 2003. Prior to that, Ms. Nichols served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton, and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.
Ms. Miyake Kaori (Japan) is the Co-Chair of Japan Climate Leaders' Partnership (JCLP). Ms. Kaori previously served as President and Representative Director of Claire's Japan Co. in 2008 and acted as General Manager of Group Customer Service Department, AEON RETAIL Co in 2013.
Mr. Oumar Tatam Ly (Mali) is former Prime Minister of Mali (2013-2014). Mr. Tatam Ly previously served as the Special Adviser to the Governor of the Central Bank of West African States, and Chairman of the board of directors of the West Africa Monetary Union Pension Fund (CRRAE-UMOA).
Mr. Rod Carr (New Zealand) is Chairperson of the New Zealand Climate Change Commission. Mr. Corr priorly served as Chair and non-executive director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Deputy Governor and Acting Governor of the Bank.
Mr. Zhou Xiaochuan (China) served as the Governor of the People's Bank of China from 2002 to 2018.