San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Christiana Figueres Nominated For U.N. Climate Change Post

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has nominated Christiana Figueres to be the next executive secretary of the United Nations (U.N.) Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The post’s incumbent, Yvo de Boer, of Holland, will step down on July 1, 2010.

A daughter of former three-time Costa Rican president José María Figueres, Christiana Figueres served as vice president of the director’s council of the U.N. climate change treaty for Latin America and Caribbean countries from 2008 through 2009. Previously, she represented Central America on the executive board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The CDM, a mechanism created by the Kyoto Protocol to the climate change convention, commits developed countries to investing in emissions-reduction endeavors in developing countries.

Figueres founded the Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas, an organization she directed for eight years, and was given a “Hero for the Planet” award by the National Geographic Society in 2001.

The Costa Rican government hopes the announcement will help Figueres gather the necessary support among the convention’s 192 member nations before July, when U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will appoint the new executive secretary.

“Her naming will be an honor for our country and an intelligent and visionary decision for the U.N.,” Arias said.

Experts believe that the next executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change likely will hail from a developing country.

– Mike McDonald


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