COP28 Champions

COP28 Champions: Team of Controversial Climate Conference 

As the world gears up for the COP28 climate conference, the UN Climate Change High-Level COP28 Climate Champions lead the charge toward a sustainable future. The current champions, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Her Excellency Ms. Razan Al Mubarak are dedicated to building on the successes of their predecessors and working closely with non-state actors to activate the “ambition loop” with national governments. 

With a clear focus on fostering collaboration across all sectors of society, their mission as COP28 climate champions is to pave the way towards a decarbonized economy and a zero-carbon world that is healthy, resilient, and sustainable for all. Behind them, a global team of experts spanning various fields provides crucial support as they work towards this ambitious goal.

COP28 Climate Champion

The COP28 Climate Champion will play a crucial role in leading global efforts toward mitigating climate change and achieving sustainable development. They will inspire and mobilize governments, businesses, and individuals to take bold actions toward a low-carbon future.

1. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

Dr. Mohieldin is an experienced economist serving as Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. He’s been the UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda since 2020. He was the Minister of Investment of Egypt from 2004-2010 and held senior roles at the World Bank. He’s also a Professor of Economics and Finance and holds multiple board positions. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Warwick and authored publications in economics, finance, and development.

2. Ms. Razan Al Mubarak

Ms. Razan Al Mubarak is a UAE native who has played a significant role in environmental protection and conservation across West Asia and globally for over 20 years. She became President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature for a 4-year term starting in September 2021, making her the first president from West Asia and the second woman to lead the organization in its 75-year history. She holds an MSc in Public Understanding of Environmental Change and a BA (Hons) in Environmental Studies and International Relations.

3. Maria Aguilar

Maria Alejandra Aguilar is a Colombian lawyer specializing in socio-environmental issues and climate change. She has over 6 years of experience in project management, policy analysis, and advocacy. She earned an MSc in Sustainability from UNU-IAS and a joint diploma from Tokyo University.

Maria has worked in various civil society organizations, including Ambiente y Sociedad and the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network. In 2022, she coordinated the Campaign named Stop Financing Factory Farming (S3F).

As of April 2023, she joined the Climate Champions team as the Race to Resilience Campaign Manager. Her goal is to mobilize non-state actors to build the resilience of 4 billion people.

4. Kyra Appleby

Kyra leads tracking for Climate Champions, ensuring trusted, accessible infrastructure. She identifies opportunities for non-state climate action to support national ambition. Kyra was previously Global Director at CDP, overseeing climate reporting for 1,200 cities, states, and regions. She holds degrees from Columbia and Johns Hopkins. Kyra will be at COP28 as a Climate Champion.

5. Jen Austin

Jen was Policy Director for We Mean Business before joining COP28 Climate Champions Team. She led global policy strategy, working with partners to advocate ambitious climate policy. Jen also served as Chief of Staff for the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. State Department. With experience in climate policy, economics, diplomacy, and communications, Jen has worked at NOAA and for President Obama’s campaigns. Her early career included reporting in Uganda and working with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Jen has a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard and an undergraduate degree from Princeton. She’s based in DC and involved with COP28 as a Climate Champion.

6. Tariro Bure

Tariro Bure, COP28 Climate Champion, is an experienced program lead. She mobilizes resources and launches projects for a net-zero, resilient future as the Strategic Coordinator in the Climate Champions Finance team.

Previously, Tariro coordinated the African Youth Networks Movement (AYNM) at Mandela Institute. She helped set up chapters reaching over a million youths in 45 African countries.

Tariro was also a founding team member for African Leadership University (ALU) and spearheaded the campus accreditation and inauguration processes. She graduated from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Economics and Management.