GBM Blog

The Road to Mexico: Christiana Figueres Appointed New UNFCCC Executive Secretary

May 25, 2010 - 09:50AM
Published by Hannah Smith

Wangari Maathai at Forest Day 3 in Copenhagen, December 2009Last week, Ban Ki Moon – the Secretary General of the UN – appointed Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica as the new climate chief of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Ms Figueres will be replacing Yvo de Boer as the Executive Secretary.

Christiana Figueres has been lead negotiator for Costa Rica which aims to become carbon-neutral by 2021 - her track record shows the type of leadership desperately needed on the global stage. What’s more, her background with roles in government, business, civil society sectors, and bringing the perspective from a developing country should foster trust and allow her to push for an ambitious climate deal.

“I come to the secretariat with great respect for the institution and a deep commitment to (the) UNFCCC process," Figueres said in a statement issued by the UN. "There is no task that is more urgent, more compelling or more sacred than that of protecting the climate of our planet for our children and grandchildren.”

The Green Belt Movement continues to drive action forward on forests as we lead up to the 16th Conference of the Parties in Mexico this December. We welcome the appointment of Ms Figueres who will work towards reaching a worldwide legal agreement on controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Having a woman at the helm is certainly something to get excited about, and we will be watching eagerly as she takes her first steps on the road to Mexico…