UN official in charge of climate pact to step down

UN official in charge of climate pact to step down
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The United Nations official who was in charge of overseeing last year’s climate change pact is stepping down in July.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, told the nations involved in the pact Friday that her appointment expires July 6, and she will not seek another term.

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“The Paris agreement is a historical achievement, built on years of increasing willingness to construct bridges of collaboration and solidarity,” Figueres said in her letter. “It has been an honor to support you along this path over the past six years.”

Figueres, a diplomatic and civil official from Costa Rica, had led the U.N. agency since 2010, shortly after the Copenhagen convention that failed to yield an international climate agreement.

Along with world leaders and diplomats, she helped establish the model of the Paris agreement, including decisions to include developing countries in the pact and to let each country determine its own greenhouse gas cuts.

The resulting agreement, finalized in December in Paris, does not have binding emissions cuts. But it is nonetheless the first international climate pact to include nearly 200 nations, far more than 1997’s Kyoto Protocol.