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UNFCCC Chief Resigns After Copenhagen Debacle

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, February 22, 2010 | 1:36 AM

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC has just resigned. He led the Copenhagen process. The resignation is on personal grounds.

HE was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the new Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC on 10 August 2006. The appointment had been endorsed by the Bureau of the Convention.

Before joining the UNFCCC, he was Director for International Affairs of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of the Netherlands, responsible for international policy, both in the context of the European Union, as well as broader international cooperation.

He has also served as Deputy Director-General for Environmental Protection in the same Ministry, as Head of the Climate Change Department and has worked in the fields of housing and public information. Early in his career, he worked for the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT).

He has been involved in climate change policies since 1994. He has helped to prepare the position of the European Union in the lead-up to the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol, assisted in the design of the internal burden sharing of the European Union and has since led delegations to the UNFCCC negotiations.

He has actively sought broad stakeholder involvement on the issue of climate change. To that end, he launched an international dialogue on the clean development mechanism and has partnered international discussions with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, aimed at increasing private sector involvement.

He has served as Vice-President of the Conference of Parties to UNFCCC and as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development. At the time of appointment, he was a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, the Bureau of the Environment Policy Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Advisory Group of the Community Development Carbon Fund of the World Bank and the Board of Directors of the Centre for Clean Air Policy.

Born in Vienna, he is married and has 3 children. As the son of a Dutch diplomat, he travelled the world extensively before entering boarding school in the United Kingdom and obtaining a technical degree in social work in the Netherlands.

He was in charge of negotiating a new international deal to stop global temperature rise. His role at Copenhagen was crucial. After four years in the post he has decided to step down to go and work for global accounting firm KPMG.

Failure of the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was a blow to the UN at a time of scandals.

The international meeting in Mexico where it is hoped world governments will draw up a legally binding treaty on climate change will happen in his absence.
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