Top U.N climate official resigns

Yvo de Boer leaves United Nations following disappointing Copenhagen summit

by Despina Doukas

After four years in office, Yvo de Boer resigned as top United Nations climate official last Thursday.

De Boer’s decision, which comes so quickly after nations failed to reach a conclusive deal at the Copenhagen meeting in December, is quite controversial.  According to BBC, many believe his resignation, to be a result of international disappointment following the summit at Copenhagen. 

However, according the BBC, the former Dutch climate official insisted he had been looking for a new job long before the summit. “It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge,” said de Boer in a statement to the BBC.

As Secretary General of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), De Boer was in charge of negotiating a new international deal to stop global temperature rise.

“We were about an inch away from a formal agreement,” De Boer told the National Post. “It was basically in our grasp, but it didn’t happen […]so that was a pity.” 

“Copenhagen did not produce the full agreement the world needs to address the collective climate challenge,” he said in a January 20 press conference summing up the results of the summit, according to the UNFCCC. 

According to BBC, people who know Mr de Boer said he was more disappointed by the slow pace of negotiations than he was ready to admit. 

“I saw him at the airport after Copenhagen,” said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert for the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council to the BBC, “He was tired, worn out.” 

Schmidt said that the summit “clearly took a toll on him.” 

Nevertheless, according to the National Post, many people blamed De Boer for the weak conclusion at Copenhagen. His resignation has led to hope that a new climate official may be able to reinforce negotiations in time for the next international meeting in Mexico in November, where government officials intend to draw up a legally binding treaty on climate change.

De Boer will remain in his current position until July 1 and help negotiations move forward at the Climate Change Conference in November. After that, he will be joining the consultancy group, KPMG, as a climate advisor and will be working with universities

After four years in office, Yvo de Boer resigned as top United Nations climate official last Thursday.De Boer’s decision, which comes so quickly after nations failed to reach a conclusive deal at the Copenhagen meeting in December, is quite controversial.  According to BBC, many believe his resignation, to be a result of international disappointment following the summit at Copenhagen. However, according the BBC, the former Dutch climate official insisted he had been looking for a new job long before the summit. “It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge,” said de Boer in a statement to the BBC.As Secretary General of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), De Boer was in charge of negotiating a new international deal to stop global temperature rise.”We were about an inch away from a formal agreement,” De Boer told the National Post. “It was basically in our grasp, but it didn’t happen […]so that was a pity.” “Copenhagen did not produce the full agreement the world needs to address the collective climate challenge,” he said in a January 20 press conference summing up the results of the summit, according to the UNFCCC. According to BBC, people who know Mr de Boer said he was more disappointed by the slow pace of negotiations than he was ready to admit. “I saw him at the airport after Copenhagen,” said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert for the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council to the BBC, “He was tired, worn out.” Schmidt said that the summit “clearly took a toll on him.” Nevertheless, according to the National Post, many people blamed De Boer for the weak conclusion at Copenhagen. His resignation has led to hope that a new climate official may be able to reinforce negotiations in time for the next international meeting in Mexico in November, where government officials intend to draw up a legally binding treaty on climate change.De Boer will remain in his current position until July 1 and help negotiations move forward at the Climate Change Conference in November. After that, he will be joining the consultancy group, KPMG, as a climate advisor and will be working with universities

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