Thursday, March 12, 2009

The "Flying Dutchman" of Climate Change

His colleagues call him the Flying Dutchman because of all the time Yvo de Boer spends in the air, traveling from one world capital to another as he tries to stitch together a global deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions — and possible save the world.

12 March 2009 - As the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), de Boer is the U.N.'s point man for the ongoing global effort to plan a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. (See pictures of our fragile planet.)

The deadline for a new treaty is coming up fast — at the U.N. climate summit that will be held in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

Though a much more climate-friendly Administration has just taken power in Washington, the main conflicts that have held up talks in the past — including the division of responsibility between China and the U.S., the two biggest carbon emitters in the world — remain deep. De Boer spoke to TIME in New York City, just a few hours before he was back in the air: More >>>