Grenada’s former Environment Minister Simon Stiell was named the new UN climate chief on Monday, replacing Mexico’s Patricia Espinosa, the UN Secretary-General’s office said.
The appointment of the longtime climate advocate was approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), under which all climate negotiations are conducted, including the Paris Agreement.
Stiell will take office shortly, said a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, hinting that he will take office at the next UN climate change conference COP27 in Egypt in November.
A member of the Grenada government from 2013 to June, Stiell has been Minister for Environment and Climate Resilience for the past five years and has been adamant in calling for more progress on the fight against global warming during COP summits.
Guterres’ office called Stiell, who trained as an engineer, a “true advocate for articulating creative approaches for our collective global response to the climate crisis” and said he brings unique skills that he has honed over a 30-year career .
He will replace Espinosa, who served two terms as head of the UNFCCC from 2016 to July.
Until Stiell takes up the post, the Mauritanian Ibrahim Thiaw will remain interim chief of the UN climate protection in addition to his duties as head of the UN agency to combat desertification.
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