Professor Sokona is Senior Advisor for Sustainable Development at the South Centre. With over 40 years of experience addressing energy, environment and sustainable development in Africa. Reflecting his status, Prof. Sokona was elected Vice-Chair of the IPCC in October 2015 after previously serving as Co-Chair of IPCC WGIII for the Fifth Assessment Report, and Lead Author since 1990. He has been the Inaugural Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and Executive Secretary of the Sahara and the Sahel Observatory (OSS). Prof. Sokona’s advice is highly sought after, and as such, he is affiliated with numerous boards and organizations, including Honorary Professor at the University College London (UCL), Member of Science Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Member of the African Academy of Sciences.
As leaders prepare massive stimulus packages to stabilize their battered economies, consensus over a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery is becoming mainstream rhetoric. Indeed, several projects can deliver the dual objective of economic recovery with jobs and green growth, but several struggling fossil-intensive industries employ millions and cannot change overnight. Investment across the energy sector will fall, and the International Energy Agency expects global growth in new renewable energy capacity to slow for the first time in two decades. Somehow, the immediate economic rescue will need to be balanced with the Paris Agreement’s longer-term objectives and sustainable development goals, including the bedrocks of a clean economy and societal transitions. What is the UN doing to maintain a sense of climate urgency during this critical recovery period in the latter half of 2020? How will COVID-19 affect long-term climate policies that remain under development or have been wholly upended? What are the expectations for COP 26 in 2021? How will the guidelines and principles of green recovery be shared to identify sustainable investments?