Yvo de Boer resigns from UN's top climate post

18 February 2010

Yvo de Boer today announced that he will resign from his post as Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC this July.   He said that he is announcing his resignation now, so that a new chair can be found in time for the COP16 talks in Mexico this December.

Mr de Boer has served as the UN's top climate official since 2006. He steered both the momentous 2007 climate talks at Bali, where he helped broker agreement on a roadmap towards a new global deal on climate change, and the chaotic talks at Copenhagen this past December, which resulted in the Copenhagen Accord.  

Addressing the outcome at Copenhagen, Mr de Boer said that while it 'didn't produce the final cake', it did leave countries 'with all the key ingredients to bake a new one.'

Learning of Mr de Boer's resignation, the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:  "Yvo de Boer's patient work helped produce the Copenhagen Accord which contains commitments covering 80 percent of global emissions, something never previously achieved.

"We must quickly find a suitable successor, who can oversee the negotiations and reform the UNFCCC to ensure it is up to the massive task of dealing with what are some of the most complex negotiations ever."

The Climate Group's CEO Steve Howard said: "Yvo de Boer has worked tirelessly to break the political deadlock around a fair and effective global climate deal.   The international community owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for the real progress that has been made in international negotiations over the past four years.   

"However, a change of leadership in the UNFCCC provides a fresh opportunity to re-energise international negotiations ahead of the UN climate summit in Mexico in December.  

"The role will be crucial to safeguarding our climate and our future economy. Whoever gets the job will need to continue to build greater levels of trust, leadership and ambition between major economies and all nations to secure a fair and effective global climate agreement."

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