Figueres named as new UN climate chief

18 05 2010

Christiana Figueres has been appointed as the new UN climate chief. Ban Ki-moon yesterday named Figueres, from Costa Rica, as the successor to Yvo de Boer.

Climate groups such as the WWF Global Climate Initiative welcome the appointment. Kim Carstensen said:

Figueres will bring forward her experience with government, business, and civil society and at the same time the perspective of a developing country government. Her background should allow her to foster trust between countries and to push for an ambitious climate deal.”

Greenpeace International climate policy coordinator, Wendel Trio said:

Christiana Figueres has been lead negotiator for a country that aims to become carbon-neutral by 2021, the type of attitude we need on the global stage. We hope she can really engage all countries in a fast-moving dialogue to get agreement on a global deal that will save the world from dangerous climate change.

Source: UN.org.





US-Russia agree new START Treaty

9 04 2010

The Times – reports on the US-Russia nuclear pact forged yesterday in Prague. Incidentally, this is one of the most positive articles around on the subject. Many journalists remain skeptical about the importance of the treaty whilst commentators on the American right are hostile to what it means for US hegemony in international affairs.

Jon Snow writes from a personal perspective on his C4 blog.

I grew up in the shadow of the bomb. The mushroom cloud struck awesome fear into our small hearts. Neville Shute’s ‘On the Beach’, dominated our schoolboy book shelves. We knew there were others of our age who practiced survival beneath their desks. We actually feared radiation, nuclear fallout, radiation sickness, and oblivion. I was an impressionable fifteen years old amid the terrifying events of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today who gives the detail of nuclear war a thought?

Here in the UK, this historic agreement between the two most powerful nuclear states in the world has received minimal news coverage. A real shame.

Forty-five nations (Israel will not be attending) will meet next week in the Washington Convention Center for a nuclear security summit. In addition, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency will be represented. Let us hope the US-Russia nuclear pact reached in Prague yesterday is a prelude to increased nuclear cooperation between others in the coming months and years.





De Boer resigns

18 02 2010

Yvo De Boer, the UN’s top climate official, has tended his resignation. Source: The Press Association