UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer to Step Down


Photo via L'Echo
Yvo de Boer Resigns from Top Climate Position
Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, has formally announced he'll be leaving the post this July. The decision is widely thought to come from de Boer's deep disappointment with the results of the Copenhagen climate talks, and the nonbinding Accord forged there. An energetic and often "sharp-tongued" man, many fear that whomever is selected as his replacement will lack his audacity and enthusiasm. Here's his statement on why he's leaving: "It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge, working on climate and sustainability with the private sector and academia ... Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming," de Boer said, according to Reuters.

During his 4-year stint as the UN Climate chief, Yvo de Boer played a crucial role in shepherding often-stalling climate talks along, and deserves credit for the distinct amount progress world nations have made towards an agreement thus far. Getting 190 nations to agree on anything at all about how to confront the great environmental crisis of our time is no easy feat, after all. He was "skilled and forceful," according to the AP, though he grew exhausted at marshalling the bickering between nations.

The UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon will begin the process of finding a replacement for de Boer. The new candidate is speculated to hail from a developing nation, perhaps in order to address the talks from a fresh angle. But de Boer's distinct style--from his Stark Trek references to energized quips--will certainly be missed.

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Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Solutions