In a bid to boost its efforts to curb climate change, the UN has announced the appointment of two special envoys. The former president of Ghana, John Kufour, and former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stolenberg will take the positions.
The envoys will work with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon with the aim of mobilising political will and action ahead of the September 2014 climate change summit, to be held in New York. Ban said the envoys will be working on an issue “that is of the highest importance to the future of our planet.”
Both Kufour and Stolenberg will assist Ban in consultations with world leaders and seek to accelerate action and raise the level of ambition when it comes to tackling climate change.
The 2014 summit has previously been described as an “important milestone” ahead of the 2015 Paris climate talks, when it is expected a legal agreement will be reached.
Ban has urged governments, businesses and civil society organisations “to bring bold announcements and actions to the 2014 climate summit to raise the level of ambition through new and more robust action on climate change.”
Kufuor has previously been recognised for his commitment and visionary leadership whilst serving as leader of Ghana, in particular for implementing polices to alleviate hunger and poverty. He has also served as chairman of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership and as global envoy for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Alliance.
Stolenberg has worked with Ban on climate change issues before, leading a high-level advisory group on climate financing. The group’s report found that mobilizing $100 billion (£61 billion) a year by 2020 for climate financing would be challenging but feasible. He has also coordinated and contributed to measures against deforestation.