Figueres Discusses Her Candidacy for UN Climate Chief

When Yvo de Boer steps down as head of the U.N. climate secretariat in July, his successor will face a pretty full plate, Christiana Figueres said in an interview with The New York Times’ Green Inc. blog. Figueres is Costa Rica’s lead negotiator in the climate change talks and a candidate for de Boer’s soon-to-be vacated post.

“That already places a huge requirement on the person who’s going to get onto that horse on July 1,” Figueres replied when asked what she wants to see out of the U.N. climate talks in Cancun if she was selected to replace the outgoing U.N. climate change chief. De Boer’s departure in July will leave his successor to lead meetings in Cancun and South Africa, in 2011.

“I think I’m not alone in saying that out of Cancun, first of all, what we don’t need is any more political guidance,” she said. The priority for climate negotiators right now, according to Figueres, is to determine how the elements of the Copenhagen accord “shed the light onto the two negotiating tracks that we have: the Kyoto Protocol and the long-term cooperative agreement.”

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.