Yvo de Boer, who has led the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change since 2006, said today (18 February) he will resign as executive secretary in July.

Mr de Boer oversaw the COP15 talk in December last year, a process which resulted in the Copenhagen Accord.

However, the Accord was considered ‘disappointing’ and will now be Mr de Boer’s last major act as executive secretary.

Announcing his decision in Bonn, Germany, Mr de Boer admitted his own disappointment over Copenhagen.

He said: “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.

“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.”

UK energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, called for a successor to be found quickly.

He said: “Yvo de Boer’s patient work helped produce the Copenhagen Accord which contains commitments covering 80 percent of global emissions, something never previously achieved.

“We must quickly find a suitable successor, who can oversee the negotiations and reform the UNFCCC to ensure it is up to the massive task of dealing with what are some of the most complex negotiations ever.”

Mr de Boer will not be out of work long as he also announced he will be joining the consultancy group KPMG as global adviser on climate and sustainability, as well as working with a number of universities.

Luke Walsh

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