UN chief picks Mexican diplomat to head climate office

espinosaA veteran Mexican diplomat has been chosen to head the United Nations’ newly upgraded climate office, UN chief Ban Ki-moon announced in a letter to France’s environment minister.

Ban said he will appoint Patricia Espinosa Cantellano “as the new UNFCCC Executive Secretary for a term of 3 years,” referring to the body which oversaw the international negotiations in December leading to a historic climate pact.

The letter, obtained by Agence France-Presse, is dated April 28 and addressed to French minister Segolene Royal, whose country hosted the 195-nation climate talks.

A former foreign minister, and currently Mexico’s ambassador to Germany, Espinosa made her mark in climate circles when she took the helm at the UN talks in 2010, a year after the process was nearly derailed in Copenhagen.

She will replace Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, who held the post for 6 years and will step down in July.

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