Christiana Figueres – UN expert on climate change makes the impossible happen

16. August 2016 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Impossible is not a fact, it is an attitude, says Christiana Figueres. Her mantra is as optimistic as demanding and when meeting her, it becomes quite obvious that she is serious about it. She was born in Costa Rica and her family has always been engaged in politics. Her father José Figueres Ferrer was President of Costa Rica three times. During her time as Secretary-General oft he UNFCCC, she dealt with topics such as climate change, sustainable development, energy and land use as well as technical and financial cooperation. She was the individual responsible for steering governments to conclude the historical climate change agreement in Paris.

As international Top-Speaker, she talks about the challenges and solutions of globalisation, politics, life science and leadership, brining along 35 years of experience in high level national and international policy and multilateral negotiations. Openly, she shares her experience, achievements and challenges that she faced during her carreer. Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís says about her that the United Nations and the world needed a Secretary-General who builds bridges and agreements, anticipates problems, listens and helps to resolve disputes. He also said that Christiana Figueres was exactly that person. In times of change, Christiana Figueres “proved to have the skills to help the UN face its responsibility of building peace, resilience and opportunity.” Christiana Figueres believes in collaboration and integration as the two ingredients for success and peaceful cooperation.

Also as a public speaker, she has that rare talent to inspire people and to make them believe that change is indeed possible. It feels good to meet someone who is so very convinced that it is worth to live up to our highest purpose and to believe in peace and a positive course oft he world. Against all odds. In July, she has been appointed by Costa Rica’s President Solís for the position of United Nations Secretary-General. A decision on who will be the next UN Secretary General will be made by the end of 2016 by the UN General Assembly following a recommendation by the UN Security Council. There are four priorities that she would, in case of her election, focus on:

  1. Peaceful settlement of disputes and strengthening our crisis response capacity
  2. Planting the seeds today to achieve a sustained peace tomorrow
  3. Forging an inclusive model of multilateralism: collaborative diplomacy
  4. Strengthening the United Nations

Make sure that you meet Christiana Figueres in person to bring home some of that enthusiasm, knowledge and experience not only about climate change and its consequences but also about tipps and to improve your own style of leadership. For further information, feel free to contact us via phone or email at:

Christiana Figueres

Top UN Authority on Global Climate Change & Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - (2010 - 2016)