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It’s a Costa Rican woman at the head of the Paris climate-change conference

She’s been involved in environmental and climate change issues since 1995, initially in her home country, Costa Rica. Since 2010, this Costa Rican diplomat has led the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Under the framework, signed by 195 countries, participants have agreed to hold an annual meeting, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP), and Christiana Figueres leads and binds and inspires participants–now in COP21 in Paris.

B re-published the story from International Business Times.

Christina Figueres at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa in 2011. [Photo by UNclimatechange from Bonn, Germany - flickr: DSC_1485. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons]
Christina Figueres at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa in 2011. [Photo by UNclimatechange from Bonn, Germany – flickr: DSC_1485. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons]

The most important person at the Paris climate talks is a woman from tiny Costa Rica

December 8, 2015
By Maria Gallucci
Posted with permission from International Business Times

Christiana Figueres’ mandate is no small task: Persuade world leaders to make drastic cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and avoid catastrophic global warming. Figueres, the United Nations climate chief, plays a pivotal role in bringing diplomats, business executives and community groups to the negotiating table — all with the aim of reaching a global agreement to fight climate change.

As the ongoing U.N. climate talks in Paris near a Friday deadline, Figueres, 59, is facing one of the most critical moments in her career.

Figueres brings to her position a firecracker personality, one that stands in stark contrast to the drab conference rooms and stuffy political language that define many of her frequent meetings. At five feet tall, with closely cropped hair and dressed in brightly colored blazers, she speaks with a tireless energy and animated hands, and she’s prone to well up with tears as she describes the threat the climate change poses to humanity.

To distant observers, the key players in the high-stakes negotiations may seem to be the leaders of large, heavy polluting nations, such as the United States, China and India. But for the past five years, Figueres has served as the glue for the entire process, meeting with leaders from nearly 200 nations — including the wealthiest and poorest, the safest and most politically unstable — to convince them of the need to transition away from fossil fuels.

She’s managed to inject an air of optimism and momentum into an effort that’s dragged on for more than two decades, her peers say.

“Christiana Figueres is a fixture of inspiration for all of us,” Jennifer Morgan, an expert on international climate negotiations with the World Resources Institute, said by phone from Le Bourget, the northeastern suburb of Paris where the two-week talks are being held. “Her role is really one of trying to engage everyone … and inspire them to do more, and to at the same time come to terms with the hard-nosed scientific approach of what climate change really means.”

Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat who lives and works in Bonn, Germany, is the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Under the framework, signed by 195 countries, participants have agreed to hold an annual meeting, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP), to discuss a deal that would prevent global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels and sparking widespread sea level rise, devastating droughts, violent storms and vanishing harvests.

Global CO2 Emissions by Country | FindTheBest

See the full story at http://insidecostarica.com/2015/12/08/important-person-paris-climate-talks-woman-tiny-costa-rica/