Two shifts in diplomatic climate
The negotiating table in the next international meet on climate change will miss two prominent faces. Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2006, resigned on February 18 to join a private consultancy. The Indian prime minister’s special envoy for climate change, Shyam Saran, resigned for different reasons.
An Indian negotiator said De Boer was seen at the Copenhagen summit taking sides with the developed countries. “He should have advised the conference of parties (COP) 15 presidency, Denmark, not to allow any agreement to be signed outside the UN framework; he did not,” said Sanjay Vashist of the non-profit Climate Action Network South Asia.
In an unrelated incident, Saran resigned because his junior in the foreign service, Shiv Shankar Menon, was made the national security advisor with the rank of minister of state. “The Prime Minister’s recent statement at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit and India’s letter to the unfccc, distancing itself from the Copenhagen accord, are seen as moves influenced by Saran,” said Surya P Sethi, former energy adviser to the Planning Commission.
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