Yvo de Boer

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Yvo de Boer
Yvo de Boer.jpg
Yvo de Boer in 2007
Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute
Assumed office
15 April 2014
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
In office
10 August 2006 – 1 July 2010
Preceded by Joke Waller-Hunter
Succeeded by Christiana Figueres
Personal details
Born (1954-06-12) 12 June 1954 (age 63)
Vienna, Austria
Nationality Dutch

Yvo de Boer (born June 12, 1954) is an advisor and consultant on international environmental policy. De Boer is the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a position he held from 2006 until 2010. After his UN tenure, de Boer was Global Chairman of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at KPMG. Since 2014, de Boer has been Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a Seoul-based international environmental organization.[1]


De Boer was born in Vienna on June 12, 1954. He holds a technical degree in social work from the Netherlands.[2] De Boer is married and has three children.[3]


De Boer has been involved in climate change policies since 1994, most notably helping to prepare the position of the European Union in the lead-up to the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol.[4] Since then, de Boer has sought broad stakeholder involvement on the issues of climate change and public policy. To that end, he launched an international dialogue on the Clean Development Mechanism and has partnered international discussions with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, aimed at increasing private sector involvement.[citation needed] De Boer was Director for International Affairs of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of the Netherlands,[5] also working for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) earlier in his career.[6] In 2006 he was appointed by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Executive Director of the UNFCCC;[3] in 2010 he resigned.[7][8] De Boer was succeeded as Executive Director of the UNFCC by Christiana Figueres.[9]

De Boer became a Fellow for the International Center for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development at the University of Maastricht on July 1, 2010.[10] Later, de Boer served on numerous climate change policy councils, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development and the Board of Directors of the Center for Clean Air Policy.[11]

UN legacy[edit]

De Boer's resignation came at a time when the general utility of the United Nations' framework itself was being questioned as to "whether any significant progress toward a global treaty would be made."[12] Additionally, de Boer's tenure had come to be seen as "too confrontational by some nations," whilst for others, a notable misstep for de Boer was in being "too enthusiastic in raising expectations for an international treaty, even after it became obvious that no such treaty would be forthcoming."[12] De Boer purportedly lacked "ambition for a global emissions deal," and was taken to task by one British commentator over "expensive carbon offset schemes."[13] Nonetheless, de Boer's work on the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference represented a breakthrough, with former British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband noting "Yvo de Boer's patient work helped produce the Copenhagen accord which contains commitments covering 80% of global emissions, something never previously achieved."[8]


  1. ^ "Yvo de Boer Appointed to Head GGGI". Global Green Growth Institute. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Opening up the carbon nation". The University of Chicago Gleacher Center, Chicago, USA. September 20, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Secretary-General Appoints Yvo de Boer of the Netherlands as Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". United Nations. UN - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases. 10 August 2006. 
  4. ^ "Yvo de Boer". UNFCCC. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Yvo de Boer Appointed New UNFCCC Executive Secretary". United Nations. Department of Public Information, News and Media Division. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "UN-HABITAT Press Release". United Nations. Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, New York. August 10, 2006. 
  7. ^ New York Times Editorial (21 February 2010). "Climate Change". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ a b "Yvo de Boer steps down as UN climate chief to work for accountants KPMG". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Press Release: Christiana Figueres Appointed New UNFCCC Executive Secretary" (PDF). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - Office of the Secretariat. New York, NY: United Nations. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Yvo de Boer". University of Maastricht. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "United Nations General Assembly - 61st session - President". United Nations. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Macfarquhar, Neil; Broder, John M. (18 February 2010). "U.N. Climate Chief Quits, Deepening Sense of Disarray". The New York Times. NYTimes Co. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "George Monbiot meets Yvo de Boer". The Guardian. December 8, 2008.