Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC since 2010, will step down when her term ends on July 6, 2016.
In a message to “non-party stakeholders” issued today in Bonn and distributed to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and IGOs (intergovernmental organizations) accredited to the UNFCCC, she wrote:
“Friends, I write to confirm that I will serve out my term as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which finishes on July 6, 2016, and not accept an extension of my appointment. As you well know, the Paris Agreement is a historical achievement, built on years of increasing willingness to construct bridges of collaboration and solidarity across all boundaries. Governments deserve much credit for the remarkable outcomes of Paris, but so do you, the wider participants in the UNFCCC process. During many years you held the torch of the imperative high for all of us to see. Your support and your determination were unswerving. Your patience and your urgency were compelling. Much remains to be done, especially in the next five years, to ensure we turn good intentions into the reality we all want. I know you will continue to inject energy, passion and perseverance into this process. You can count on me to do the same.”
What’s next for the person that the New Yorker dubbed as the woman who could stop climate change? Leaping tall LEED platinum buildings in C40 cities around the world? Outpacing electric high-speed trains fed by solar and wind? Or maybe, more humbly, moving to New York and becoming the first female UN Secretary General?