UN climate panel chief Yvo de Boer on Thursday announced his decision to quit.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary de Boer announced that he will leave the high-profile post July 1, a UNFCCC spokesperson said.
He will join the consultancy group KPMG as global adviser on climate and sustainability, plus work with a number of universities.
The high-profile UN climate chief said he was announcing his decision early so that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has plenty of time to appoint a successor in a year crucial to global negotiations.
De Boer, who has led UNFCCC since September 2006, has worked through a period when global warming has been more in the news than ever before - partly because of the adverse effects of climate change that are showing already, but more because countries have still not agreed on a global compact to fight climate change, despite high-profile summits in Bali (2007) and Copenhagen (2009).
"Working with my colleagues at the UNFCCC secretariat in support of the climate change negotiations has been a tremendous experience," de Boer said, announcing his resignation in Amsterdam.
"It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge, working on climate and sustainability with the private sector and academia," he explained.
"I have always maintained that while governments provide the necessary policy framework, the real solutions must come from business," de Boer said. "Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming. This calls for new partnerships with the business sector and I now have the chance to help make this happen."
The UNFCCC spokesperson said that till July 1, de Boer will help move forward negotiations ahead of the climate change summit in Mexico this November. "Countries responsible for 80 percent of energy related carbon dioxide emissions have submitted national plans and targets to address climate change. This underlines their commitment to meet the challenge of climate change and work towards an agreed outcome in Cancun (Mexico)," he said.
Born in 1954, de Boer has earlier been involved in European Union environmental policy as deputy director general of the Dutch environment ministry. He has also served as vice-chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, acted as advisor to the government of China and the World Bank, and worked closely with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.