Yvo de Boer, the Dutchman who led the United Nations efforts to implement global climate change agreements for the last four years, has resigned. His resignation is effective July 1.
Though de Boer expressed frustration over the unsuccessful climate change summit last winter in Copenhagen, he did not suggest that such was his motivation for quitting. Rather, he suggested that he could better serve the cause in a business consultancy. Quoting the New York Times,
In a statement announcing his departure, Mr. de Boer expressed disappointment about the Copenhagen talks and said that while governments could provide a framework for action on climate, the solutions must come from the businesses that produce and consume the fuels that add to global warming.
The Washington Post adds
“It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge,” said de Boer, who will join the consulting group KPMG as an adviser on climate and sustainability and also work with several universities.
One cannot help but wonder what effect recent revelations about misleading statements and outright falsifications in the “science” of anthropogenic global warming might have had on Mr. de Boer’s decision. It was interesting to observe the extent to which these revelations were mentioned in discussions of his resignation.
In the Associated Press, there was no mention of the disputed science whatsoever. No mention at Reuters, either. The Huffington Post failed to mention it as well. The New York Times said
The renewed debate over the science may have also contributed to the pressures on Mr. de Boer.
The Wall Street Journal was less succinct:
Mr. de Boer’s exit comes as the U.N.’s push for a global crackdown on greenhouse-gas emissions faces mounting difficulties. A string of recent revelations about questionable practices and outright mistakes by scientists who contributed to a big 2007 U.N. climate-science report has led some politicians to advocate slowing the push for legislation that would cap greenhouse-gas emissions. Among those mistakes: The 2007 report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Himalayan glaciers might disappear by 2035, a claim the IPCC now says was inaccurate.
Mr. de Boer’s departure will take effect five months before the next scheduled climate change summit, which will be held in Cancun. Copenhagen, you will recall, was buried in snow for the entirety of the last warming summit. The search for his successor is under way.