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Thursday 28 August 2014

Robinson wins top UN job on climate change

Paul Melia

Published 15/07/2014 | 02:30

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Mary Robinson has been appointed the UN's special envoy for climate change
Mary Robinson has been appointed the UN's special envoy for climate change

FORMER President Mary Robinson has been appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change.

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, pictured below, made the appointment due to the "degree of urgency" involved in preparing for an international summit next month to help prepare for a global agreement reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Robinson, who was Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, has accepted the role with immediate effect. She will remain in the position until at least December 2015, when climate talks are held in Paris.

She will continue with her work as president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.

"I have mixed emotions at handing over the role in the Great Lakes region when I make my final report to the Security Council on August 7, but ultimately I feel it is appropriate that I respond positively to the request of the Secretary-General," she said.

"His faith in my capacity to help make progress on the challenges it presents is, I believe, an affirmation of the work of the foundation I lead.

"Our work on climate justice emphasises the urgency of action on climate change from a people's perspective and I intend to take this approach in my mandate as Special Envoy for Climate Change."

Aid agency Trocaire said: "Mary Robinson's appointment is of global significance and should be welcomed by everybody who cares about the future of our planet."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "I would like to pay tribute to Mary for all the work she has done to date; I am confident she will bring an unparalleled drive and ambition to the UN's work on climate change."

Irish Independent

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