London / Oslo: United Nations (UN) climate chief Yvo de Boer will step down to join a consultancy group as an adviser, he said on Thursday, two months after a Copenhagen summit failed to support a legally binding climate pact.
Time to move: Yvo de Boer. Roberto Pfeil / AP
His decision is not expected to further derail UN-led climate talks to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
De Boer will leave on 1 July to join KPMG, the secretariat for the UN framework convention on climate change said in a statement. He had led the agency since 2006 and his contract was expected to be extended in September. “It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge, working on climate and sustainability with the private sector and academia,” de Boer said in the statement.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon will make the final decision on a replacement, a UN spokesman said.
“Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction towards a low-emissions world are overwhelming. This calls for new partnerships with the business sector and I now have the chance to help make this happen,” de Boer said.
In advance of the December summit in Denmark, de Boer had said anything less than an agreement on emissions caps for individual developed nations would count as failure.
De Boer has been far more outspoken than previous heads of the Bonn-based secretariat. He had often criticized developed nations for what he called a lack of ambition in setting out cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Alister Doyle and Nina Chestney contributed to this story.