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COSTA RICA
Tica named as UN climate chief
5/26/2010
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Body´s new leader wants to apply lessons from her native country.

Christiana Figueres, the newly appointed United Nations climate chief, wants other nations to apply lessons from her native Costa Rica for “green growth.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named Figueres as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on May 17.

Figueres, who has worked on climate change issues in the private sector for more than a decade, says Costa Rica´s forest preservation and other policies should be an example for other countries.

“I do think Costa Rica has it right,” said Figueres, who was brought up in a verdant farming village in Costa Rica´s lush central highlands. “[Costa Rica] is following in the very well-established tradition of environmental possibility and realizing that there is actually a huge opportunity for green growth.”

She said growing up in Costa Rica, half of which is covered in forest, “has definitely committed me to a deep dedication to the climate change challenge, something that has been the only focus of the last 15 years of my life.”

“I think that there is a growing wave of countries that realize that green growth is definitely a competitive advantage into the future that are making serious investment both from a technology perspective as well as from a policy perspective to place themselves in a competitive position for green growth,” she added.

But Figueres admitted one of her biggest challenges will be helping the United States and China, the world´s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, eke out a binding agreement in Cancun, Mexico during the next round of climate talks.

Each nation had been waiting for the other to take the lead on cuts.

“This chain reaction of ´you first, sir´ is not a very helpful attitude,” Figueres said. “‘You first´ is not in their own interest, but rather, leadership and early action is much more in these countries´ interest.”
—Latinamerica Press.


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