UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appoints Mary Robinson as special climate envoy
an article by Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed as
the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Change
in a drive to mobilise political will and action ahead of a
climate summit Ban Ki-moon will host in New York on Sept.
Former Irish President Mary Robinson attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.Picture January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener
click on photo to enlarge
Robinson has long advocated for "climate justice", and has her
own foundation that works to secure justice for people
vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are often
forgotten - the poor, disempowered and marginalised across
In a statement issued on Monday, Ban said Robinson would
build on this work as his special envoy for climate change,
engaging heads of state and government to raise ambition on
tackling climate change ahead of the September summit and
advising him based on her consultations.
"The summit will be an important milestone to mobilise
political commitment for the conclusion of a global (climate)
agreement by 2015, as well as to spur enhanced action to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate-resilient
communities," the statement said.
obinson, who has also worked as the U.N. High Commissioner
for Human Rights, will step down from her role as U.N. Special
Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Robinson accepted the new post with immediate effect, and
will continue as a climate envoy up to the U.N. climate
conference to be held in Paris in December 2015, where the
new global deal is due to be agreed.
She said Ban's focus on climate change and "his faith in my
capacity to help make progress on the challenges it presents"
was "an affirmation" of the work of The Mary Robinson
Foundation-Climate Justice (MRFCJ).
"Our work on climate justice emphasises the urgency of action
on climate change from a people’s perspective and I intend to
take this approach in my new mandate as Special Envoy for
Climate Change,” Robinson added in a statement.
At an event on the sidelines of the U.N. climate talks in
Warsaw last November, Robinson called for the formation of a
major social movement to push for action on climate change
in the run-up to Ban's summit and the Paris conference.
She said 2015 was an unprecedented year "when we have to
do two huge steps for future generations" - agree a new set of
Sustainable Development Goals and put a global cap on
greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.
"We need to make (climate change) the biggest issue
humankind faces, because if we don't we lose," she said.
Ban has appointed three other special climate envoys since
December. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is
focusing on cities and climate change, while former Ghanaian
President John Kufuor and former Norwegian Prime Minister
Jens Stoltenberg are helping drum up support for Ban’s
[Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this
Question(s) related to this article:
How can we encourage people to care for the environment?,
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