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Former Grenada minister to become UN climate chief

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2022 | 12:09 AM


Grenada’s former environment Minister Simon Stiell is set to head the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), regional and international media reported on Friday.

Stiell, who had served as the Caribbean island’s minister for climate resilience and the environment until this year, will replace Patricia Espinosa, who finished her second three-year term as executive secretary of the UNFCCC in July.

Stiell is regarded as a veteran advocate for climate ambition from a vulnerable Caribbean island state. On the global stage, his calls for rapid reductions of emissions have put him at odds with big emerging economies like China, while his lobbying for climate finance has met resistance from rich countries like the United States and the European Union.

The UNFCCC declined to comment at this time, but many media outlets, including the Reuters and Climate Home News, said Stiell, who was appointed to Grenada’s Senate and went on to lead ministries for agriculture and education before becoming Grenada’s minister for climate resilience in March 2018, is a shoo-in for the post.

UN chief Antonio Guterres was responsible for the selection process and his decision was signed off by the UNFCCC bureau at a specially convened meeting on Thursday, the international media reported.