Staff Profile:Professor Chukwumerije Okereke

Name:
Professor Chuks Okereke
Job Title:
Professor
Responsibilities:
Areas of Interest:

Broadly, the governance of climate change and links with international development. Particularly:

  • Ethical dimensions of global environmental and climate governance- e.g. the role of equity and justice in international environmental treaties
  • The governance of climate change, green economy and low carbon development in Africa
  • The role of business in climate and environmental governance
  • The international/global political economy of environmental governance
Research groups / Centres:

Online Profiles:

Key Facts:

Chuks was appointed Reader in Environment and Development in June 2011. He was previously a Senior Research Fellow and Head of Climate and Development Centre at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford. He continues to be a visiting fellow of the Smith School and Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute (ECI). He is also a fellow and college adviser at the Green-Templeton College Oxford. Before joining Oxford, Chuks was a Senior Research Associate on the Post-2012 International Climate Policy programme at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, University of East Anglia.

Chuks was a Lead Author in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), chapter on Sustainable Development and Equity. He also served as a Lead Author in the United Nations Environment Programme's Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Assessment Report, chapter on Africa. Chuks was a member of the Expert Task Group on the Future Work of the IPCC (2015) and the Expert Group on Strengthening African Group of Negotiators' (AGN) Position in Global Climate Negotiation (2015).

During his time in Oxford, Chuks was the founding Project Director of the Rwandan National Strategy for Climate and Low Carbon Development project funded jointly by the Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN) and DfID Rwanda. He was also the Project Director of many other climate change and adaptation projects including:

  • Climate Change Impact on Health and Response Options for the Pharmaceutical Industry; Opportunities for carbon emission reduction in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Corporate climate strategies and the links with post-2012 climate policy.

Chuks was the pioneer moderator of United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Climate Diplomacy Course and has served as a consultant to DFID, UNDP, the World Bank and a number of African Governments.

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, a member of UNEP Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) project and a member of the Climate Strategies Network.

Chuks' outreach works include advisory services to wide ranging stakeholders including governments, NGOs, and international organisations; and commentaries in The Ecologist, Nature, The Conversation, as well as several BBC TV/radio interviews.

Current Projects:

Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (January 2017 to July 2018)

Chuks is leading a team comprising researchers from multiple disciplines (from UK, Africa, and India), African think tanks, civil society organisations and government departments on a Network project which aims to lay the foundation for a robust assessment and understanding of the dynamics of green growth governance in Africa and the implications for sustainable economic transformation in the continent. Particular attention will be paid to understanding key challenges for leveraging green growth as a means to tackle inequality and poverty plus interventions that can be honed to transcend existing barriers to deliver results at scale and enhance sustainability. The project is funded by the Research Councils UK under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), please visit the webpage Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa for more information.

Technical Capacity Assessment for Green Economy Transition in Africa (December 2017 to June 2018).

Funded by University of Reading under the GCRF Strategic Fund Initiative the project aims to develop an analytical framework that can be used to assess capacity needs for green economy transition in Africa, and to undertake a reasonably detailed and systematic capacity gap assessment of with an initial focus on the three countries – Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The project involves consultative workshop that will offer the opportunity for structured reflection over historical and current green growth policymaking with a focus on human and technical capacity, as well as through the lens of adaptive management.

Recently Completed Projects:

Interactions between Industrial Polices and Green Economy Strategies in Ethiopia (Feb 2015 – January 2017)

Funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), this research project will develop an integrated understanding of the conflicts, synergies, trade-offs and multiplier effects of industrial policies and green economy strategies in Ethiopia with a view to providing policy roadmaps that integrate socio-economic development and the protection of ecological systems. The project will have four inter-related strands as building blocks:

  • Analysis of industrialization experiences and pathways in Ethiopia against the backdrop of the green economy strategy;
  • Development of a baseline of four manufacturing sub-sectors with the dual purpose of building an inventory of production and consumption data and assessing the current performance of the subsectors selected, relative to international practice;
  • Survey of current innovation systems for (greening) industrial development in Ethiopia, and assess existing technical and knowledge gaps;
  • Evaluation of existing governance systems, institutions and policies to explore opportunities for institutional innovation and policy learning. Partner institutions include University College London (UCL), Ethiopia Development Research Institute (EDRI) and Quantum Global Research, Switzerland.

Scoping study on low carbon societal transformation in Oxfordshire County Council (November 2014- July 2015)

Funded by the Walker Institute for Climate Research, this project aims to improve understanding of the governance of low carbon transition in Oxfordshire, which has one of the largest and most dynamic networks of Community Actions Groups (CAGs) in the UK. The scoping study will explore the: (i) environmental and the wider societal impacts of CAG activities; (ii) opportunities for, and barriers against CAGs and the city council to improve their performance in helping to facilitate low carbon transformation in Oxfordshire. The grand objective is to contribute knowledge that will enlighten governance for a just societal transformation towards a low-carbon future.

Previous Projects (selected)

Africa’s Adaptation Initiative (AAI) (July 2015 to February 2016)

Initiated by the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and funded by the UNDP, the aim of the project was to elaborate a framework for scaling up climate adaptation effort in Africa in the Context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Strengthening African Influence in Global Climate Negotiations (May to December 2015)

Led a team of several academics and African diplomats to develop a framework for understanding and strengthening African governments’ contribution to global climate governance with a specific focus on the UNFCCC. The project was funded by the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Options for Adaptation and Loss and Damage in a 2015 UN Climate Agreement (April 14 – December 2015).

Work as part of a multinational and multidisciplinary team that explored various options for designing an effective and equitable global climate regime in the run to the Paris Agreement. Project was funded by the European Commission through the World Resource Institute (WRI).

The Governance of Low Carbon development in Africa (Leverhulme Fellowship (May 2011 - April 2013)

The research had the broad aim of helping to facilitate low-carbon development in Africa which is currently the poorest and most vulnerable continent to climate change. The specific objective was to enhance understanding of institutional requirements and policies needed to ensure the effective use of clean development finance, thereby enhancing credible and equitable climate policy outcomes;

Corporate and Institutional Strategies for Climate Change: An International Comparative Study (Funded by Australian Research Council $295,000 over three years)

This project was aimed to inform international climate change policy by conducting a comprehensive analysis of institutional and corporate strategies to tackle climate change. Concentrating on Australia, Germany, the UK and USA, the research seeks to explore the differences in climate change policy and strategies in four significant political jurisdictions.

PhD Students:

  • Zainab Aliyu, Evaluation of the effectiveness of Climate Justice Movement (CJM) in Sub-Saharan Africa (Leverhulme Climate Justice Doctoral Scholarship)
  • Brian Chirambo, Energy Access and UNFCCC REDD+ Policies, (Commonwealth Scholarship)
  • Philip Coventry, Climate justice and the UNFCCC: Analysis of path dependence in the development of climate finance policy (ESRC DTC Scholarship)
  • Kyung-Kun Lee, Efficiency of the UN climate change negotiation (UoR FAHSS Scholarship)
  • Danny Waite, Understanding the influence of negotiating blocs in the UNFCCC: the case of The Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (Leverhulme Climate Justice Doctoral Scholarship)
  • Tariya Yusuf, The role of stakeholder participation in climate adaptation, (Nigerian Government Scholarship)
Publications:
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Further Publications

Charlesworth M and Okereke C. (2009) A call to reason. Nature Correspondence, doi 10.1038/climate.2009.118

Okereke, C. ed. (2007) The Politics of the Environment. London: Routledge.

Okereke C. (2007) An Exploration of Motivations, Drivers and Barriers to Carbon Management: The UK FTSE 100. European Management Journal, 25 (6): 475-486.

Rayner T and Okereke C. (2007) The Politics of Climate Change: In The Politics of the Environment, eds. C. Okereke. London: Routledge, pp. 116-135.

Okereke C. (2007) The Ethical Dimensions of Global Change: In The politics of the Environment, ed. C. Okereke. London: Routledge, pp.136-157.

Okereke C. (2006) Global environmental sustainability: Intragenerational equity and conceptions of justice in multilateral environmental regime. Geoforum 37 (5): 745-736.

Okereke C. (2006) Oil Politics and Environmental Conflict: The Case of Niger Delta Nigeria: In The Politics of Oil, ed. B. Gokay. London: Routledge, pp.110-118.

 

Dr Chuks Okereke

Contact Details

Email:
c.okereke@reading.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0) 118 378 6230

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