Mohamed Adow is an international climate policy expert and ardent advocate for the people of developing nations—who are disproportionately affected by climate change but play almost no role in causing it. Hailing from a pastoralist community in Northern Kenya that faces increasing droughts, Adow’s experience on the frontlines of the climate crisis anchors his work as a voice for those most vulnerable to climate change. He is an outspoken and deeply respected leader among policymakers, NGOs, and the media on Africa and climate justice.

Mohamed is the Founder and Director of Power Shift Africa, a nongovernmental organization and think tank based in Kenya that he formed in 2018 to mobilize climate action in Africa and shift climate and energy policies to zero carbon. Prior to launching Power Shift Africa, Mohamed led Christian Aid’s global climate policy and advocacy work for over a decade, specializing in developing countries’ issues, and supporting the organization’s climate policy and advocacy work in Africa, Europe, and at the UN climate negotiations. While with Christian Aid, he led the creation of the Pan-Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), which is made up of over 1,000 organizations across 48 countries. He is also an advisor to the Climate Vulnerable Forum and a former Board Chair of Climate Action Network International.

Mohamed was selected as a Climate Breakthrough Awardee both because of his strengths as a leader and because of his striking and ambitious vision for Africa. The breakthrough strategy Mohamed intends to pursue is to build up the collective moral, economic, and political voice of Africa to exert pressure in the international community around climate action. He plans to address current and future emissions in Africa through energy transition policy, and to couple that effort with building African climate leadership on the international stage to generate a moral imperative for all countries to drastically reduce emissions.  

His breakthrough strategy for centering African leadership on climate could not only profoundly affect the 1.2 billion people of Africa, but guide the entire international community toward more ambitious global climate policies.