De Boer is known to be deeply disappointed with outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, which drew 120 world leaders but failed to reach more than a vague promise by several countries to limit carbon emissions — and even that deal fell short of consensus.
But he denied to the AP that his decision to quit was a result of frustration with Copenhagen.
"Copenhagen wasn't what I had hoped it would be," he acknowledged, but the summit nonetheless prompted governments to submit plans and targets for reigning in the emissions primarily blamed for global warming. "I think that's a pretty solid foundation for the global response that many are looking for," he said.
De Boer told the AP he believes talks "are on track," although it was uncertain that a full treaty could be finalized at the next high-level conference in November.
The partial agreement reached in Copenhagen, brokered by President Barack Obama, "was very significant," he said. But he acknowledged frustration that the deal was merely "noted" rather than formally adopted by all countries.
"We were about an inch away from a formal agreement. It was basically in our grasp, but it didn't happen," he said. "So that was a pity."
Thursday, February 18, 2010
AP: Top U.N. Climate Official Resigning
Top U.N. climate change official Yvo de Boer told Arthur Max of The Associated Press Thursday that he was steeping down.