'Failed' UN climate-change chief quits Yvo de Boer: blamed for failure
Published 19/02/2010 | 05:00
The chief United Nations climate-change official resigned yesterday after being blamed by many for the failure of the Copenhagen summit.
Yvo de Boer was in charge of negotiating a new international deal to stop global temperature rise. However, after four years in the post, he decided to step down and work for the global accounting firm KPMG.
The former Dutch civil servant insisted that he had been planning to go for some time, but already there are questions over the nature of his departure and his possible replacement as secretary-general of the UN framework convention on climate change.
Many blamed Mr de Boer for the failure of the recent UN climate-change conference in Copenhagen. His resignation has led to hope that new blood may be able to reinvigorate the process in time for the next international meeting in Mexico next year.
Mr de Boer acknowledged that the failure of nations to agree at the negotiations was frustrating, but he insisted that the accord had at least begun the process of reducing greenhouse gases. "We were about an inch away from a formal agreement. It was basically in our grasp, but it didn't happen. That was a pity," he said.
Mark Lynas, a consultant who advised the president of the Maldives during the UN talks, said many in developing countries were still angry at the Copenhagen failure. He said Mr de Boer's resignation showed how much strain the international negotiations were under.
"It is quite bad news he is quitting at this point because the world is in desperate need of a reliable pair of hands to get through this dark period." (©Daily Telegraph, London)