Christiana Figueres, daughter of a former president of her country, is the new executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Mr de Boer stepped down shortly after the Copenhagen climate change talks in December last year, following almost universal criticism branding them as a ‘disappointment’.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon said he was ‘grateful’ to Mr de Boer for his ‘dedicated service and tireless efforts’ on behalf of the climate change agenda.

He said: “She is an international leader on strategies to address global climate change and brings to this position a passion for the issue, deep knowledge of the stakeholders and valuable hands-on experience with the public sector, non-profit sector and private sector.”

Ms Figueres said: “I come to the secretariat with great respect for the institution and a deep commitment to UNFCCC process.

“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.”

Ms Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995, served as a negotiator of both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol, and chaired numerous COP decisions.

Luke Walsh

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