As Secretary General of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Mr de Boer was in charge of negotiating a new international deal to stop global temperature rise. However after four years in the post he has decided to step down.
De Boer, 55, will step down as the diplomat leading talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on July 1, the UN group said today in an e-mailed statement. He will join KPMG International as an adviser. No successor was named.
De Boer became known as "the crying Dutchman" after he broke down in tears at the end of the Bali UN climate conference in 2006. Many blamed Mr de Boer for the failure of the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen that ended in a weak accord. But he is the world's most experienced climate change negotiator and the UN faces a difficult task finding a replacement at this late stage in what have been called the most complex negotiations that have been attempted under the UN system. His departure will also be a blow to the UN at a time when the science behind climate change is increasingly under fire after a series of scandals.
However, his resignation also led to hope that new blood may be able to reinvigorate the process in time for the next international meeting in Mexico in November, where it is hoped world governments will draw up a legally binding treaty on climate change.