Chukwumerije Okereke is a Professor of Environment and Development at the University of Reading where he also serves as the Co-Director of Climate and Justice Centre and the Leverhulme Climate Justice Doctoral Scholarship Programme.
Previously, he was a Senior Research Associate at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, UK, and Head of Climate and Development Centre at the Smith School Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, respectively. He remains a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute (ECI).
Professor Okereke’s work is devoted to understanding the mix of policies, strategies, and institutional arrangements that can help to address climate change and natural resource degradation in Africa in the context of sustainable development and Africa’s structural economic transformation. He brings a unique perspective that emphasises connection across scales of governance - from local through national to international dimensions. He has extensive experience in managing complex projects in the interface of governance, climate mitigation, adaptation, and low carbon development in various locations in Africa and around the world. Professor Okereke adopts a rigorous and methodical approach to the delivery of projects, which integrates stakeholder engagement, communication, innovation, effectiveness analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and climate change mainstreaming.
Over the last 20 years, he has maintained an extensive high-impact engagement with national governments, businesses, and NGOs in Africa and led on several high-profile international projects on climate change policy, mainstreaming, and green economy transition in Africa. He was the leader of a team that undertook the analysis of the adaptation components on African NDCs for the African Development Bank as directed by the Climate and Green Growth Division of the Bank. He was the founding Project Manager of the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Project, which was the first ever national low-carbon plan in Africa.
Other major research and consultancy work he has lead include the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) – the UNDP funded African flagship initiative on climate adaptation mandated by the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and elaborated under the guidance of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in conjunction with the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators (AGN); the United Nations Economic Commission project which explored the influence of Africa on the international climate regime; the ESRC-GCRF funded project on Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (GIGGA) which identified and analysed the key challenges facing Africa in the road to sustainable structural transformation and the green economy; and the Review and Assessment of the World Bank Funded USD 300 million Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
He is currently leading a project on assessing and enhancing the capacities of African institutions and policymakers to undertake sustainable green economy transition. Professor Okereke is a member of the High-Level Panel for the African Union Green Innovation Framework which is developing a framework that will guide a harmonized and integrated transition to a green economy by African Union Member states in line with the Union’s Agenda 2063.
Professor Okereke is the Coordinating Lead Author of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 on the Introduction and Framing chapter. He has served as Lead Author on other major global scientific assessment projects including; (a) the Fifth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), chapter on Sustainable Development and Equity; and (b) the United Nations Environment Programme’s Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment, chapter on Africa; (2) Lead author of the IPCC special report on 1.5. He was the Moderator of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Climate Diplomacy Course from 2009 -2011.
He is the author of several journal articles and reports on national and global environmental policy making. His books include Global Justice and Neoliberal Environmental Governance (Routledge, 2008); The Politics of the Environment ed. (Routledge, 2007); and Global Carbon Governance and Business Transformation Eds (with Bumpus, A., Tansey J. Blaz, H. (2015). His latest book is Homegrown Development in Africa (with P. Agupusi) Published by Routledge. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Global Environmental Politics, the official journal of the Environmental Studies Section, International Studies Association (ISA). He is also a member of the Executive Committee, Environmental Studies Sections, ISA, and the International Climate Strategies Network.
Professor Okereke is the President and Chairman Board of Trustee of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) Nigeria. His other outreach and charity work include advisory services to wide-ranging stakeholders including governments, NGOs, community groups; and commentaries in The Ecologist, Nature, The Conversation, as well as several TV and radio interviews.