Co-Chair of Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Receive Global Women Champion Award

Elliott Harris, New York Office Director, UNEP; Bahijjahtu Abubakar; Hauwa Umar, National REDD+ Secretariat

From left: Elliott Harris, New York Office Director, UNEP; Bahijjahtu Abubakar; Hauwa Umar, National REDD+ Secretariat

NEW YORK, 7 March 2014 – CCAC Co-Chair Bahijjahtu Abubakar is being recognized here today as a Global Women Champion by the Global Connections for Women foundation (GC4W). Given on the day preceding International Women’s Day, the award is intended “to recognize, celebrate and encourage the noble work of these exemplary women leaders – who are committed to the global advancement of women and continue to make a significant impact in the lives of others.”

Besides her position with the CCAC, Abubakar is National Coordinator for the Renewable Energy Programme in Nigeria.

“Bahijjahtu is a committed and innovative leader,” said Annika Markovic, Abubakar’s fellow co-leader of the CCAC and Sweden’s ambassador to the OECD. “She has an abundance of ideas on how to forward women’s issues, and she makes sure that the work we do in the CCAC is delivered on the ground.”

In a recent blog on the CCAC’s second anniversary, Abubakar celebrated the CCAC as a “Coalition of the Working” and wrote, “We must consider ourselves fortunate to be part of a movement that is creating awareness that reducing short-lived climate pollutants is important not only to climate but also to development – to the environment, health and economic empowerment.” She noted that the CCAC is “providing clean cooking to over 70 million Nigerians without clean cookstoves.” Inefficient cookstoves produce black carbon and damage the health of millions of people every year, a disproportionate number of them women and children. The CCAC also addresses black carbon from diesel engines, brick production, municipal and agricultural waste burning.

Of note is the fact that the CCAC is guided by three women, including Bahijjahtu, Markovic and Helena Molin Valdes, head of the Coalition Secretariat and longtime United Nations executive.  

"Bahijjahtu is an inspiration for the Coalition and myself,” said Molin Valdes. “She is always seeking to anchor our work in the benefits of people and empowering women. She has pioneered work to develop clean cookstoves and energy efficiency, and to reduce black carbon pollution to improve the health of women and children. She is also a great advocate for turning oil and gas methane leaks and flaring into energy alternatives for households. We have been lucky to have her as a co-chair of our Coalition."

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, the environmental community, and other members of civil society. The Coalition is government-led but is highly cooperative and voluntary. Short-lived climate pollutants are agents that have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere—a few days to a few decades—but also a warming influence on climate as well as, in many cases, detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture and ecosystems.

For more information on the CCAC, please see www.unep.org/ccac or contact the CCAC Secretariat at ccac_secretariat@unep.org.     

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