UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Simon Stiell as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany. The appointment has been endorsed by the Bureau of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
From March 2013 to June 2022, Mr Stiell served as a senior minister in the Government of Grenada holding the portfolios of Minister for Climate Resilience and the Environment for five years. He also served as Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Minister of State with responsibility for Human Resource Development and the Environment, and as a junior minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
“Mr Stiell, a true champion for formulating creative approaches for our collective global response to the climate crisis, brings to the position a unique skillset developed over a 33 year career, coupled with vast experience in bilateral, regional and multilateral affairs, ” said a press release issued by Mr Guterres’ office.
Mr Stiell succeeds Patricia Espinosa of Mexico. His appointment was announced as the international community prepares for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh in November. This meeting will seek to building on the many mandates that emerged from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow last year, and accelerate more ambitious climate action, deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced resilience to adapt to the effects of climate change and financial support for developing countries.
“The World Meteorological Organization looks forward to working closely with Mr Stiell to support the international agenda on climate action by strengthening tools for climate change mitigation and adaptation to increasingly extreme weather,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
Specifically, WMO is acting on a request from Mr Guterres to ensure that everyone in the world is protected by early warning systems in the next five years. Multi-hazard early warnings are a vital, cost-effective and proven way of protecting lives and livelihoods and are widely regarded as the “low-hanging fruit” of climate change adaptation.
WMO is also developing a coordinated global greenhouse gas monitoring infrastructure which will provide a solid, authoritative basis for governments to monitor the effectiveness of their action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
WMO also supports the UNFCCC and COP negotiating process by providing authoritative annual reports on the state of the global climate, as well as regional climate reports.
Mr Stiell served as member of Grenada’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate, where he held the position of Leader of Government’s Business throughout this period.
Prior to his return to Grenada, Mr Stiell had a successful career spanning fourteen years within the technology sector, holding senior executive positions in a number of industry leading companies, from Silicon Valley based technology start-ups, to major corporations including Nokia and G.E.C.
He originally trained as an engineer and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom.