Mexican diplomat to be new UN climate chief

Ms Patricia Espinosa Cantellano will take over as UN climate chief in July. She is currently the Mexican Ambassador to Germany.
Ms Patricia Espinosa Cantellano will take over as UN climate chief in July. She is currently the Mexican Ambassador to Germany.

UNITED NATIONS • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has appointed Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa Cantellano as the new UN climate chief.

Ms Espinosa Cantellano's appointment as executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was made after consultation with the parties to the convention, the UN said.

She will succeed Ms Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, whose tenure ends in July after six years.

Ms Espinosa Cantellano is currently the Mexican Ambassador to Germany. She was her country's foreign minister from 2006 to 2012 and presided over an annual UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty that came into force in 1994.

The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 at the Conference of Parties to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

At the Paris climate conference in December last year, 196 parties to the UNFCCC adopted a historic climate agreement which aims to hold global average temperature rise to below 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 deg C.

On April 22, 175 countries inked the agreement at the UN headquarters in New York.

After the signing, the Paris Agreement now needs 55 nations that together account for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions to ratify it before it can come into force.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline 'Mexican diplomat to be new UN climate chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe