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Winrock International Applauds Board Member Christiana Figueres on United Nations Climate Change Secretariat Appointment

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. (5/21/10)Winrock International congratulates Christiana Figueres on her recent appointment as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. Figueres is a board member of Winrock International, parent organization of the nonprofit American Carbon Registry.

Ms. Figueres takes the helm at a pivotal time for international climate change negotiations, following fractured negotiations in Copenhagen and leading into follow-on meetings in Cancun this December at COP16. “There is a clear need to rebuild trust in the UN process,” remarked Ms. Figures, “and one can start doing that in Cancun delivering concrete results.”

Winrock President Frank Tugwell believes Ms. Figueres is uniquely qualified for the prestigious appointment. “Not only has Ms. Figueres been a valuable member of Winrock‟s Board of Directors, she has displayed impressive leadership in international climate negotiations and collaborated extensively with organizations in the private and public sectors,” Mr. Tugwell said.  “She has also been an important technical advisor to us on matters related to our climate change programs and, in particular, Winrock‟s American Carbon Registry. All of us at Winrock have the utmost respect for Ms. Figueres and congratulate her on this important appointment.”

Ms. Figueres‟ impressive career includes leading the Costa Rican UNFCCC negotiating team since 1995, representing Latin America and the Caribbean on the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in 2007, and serving as Vice President of the Conference of the Parties for 2008-2009. She has helped establish national climate change programs in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

“One of Ms. Figueres‟ really key contributions to the climate change dialogue is the concept of

„programmatic‟ or „sectoral‟ CDM,” said Dr. Timothy Pearson, one of Winrock‟s forest carbon experts recently appointed to the CDM Executive Board Afforestation/Reforestation Working Group. “This approach targets reductions achieved at a sectoral level—for example in renewable energy, energy efficiency, fuel switching and other areas—and is a key complement to more traditional CDM projects as a way to mobilize capital, scale up reductions and deliver benefits to households and small and medium enterprises.”

The sectoral CDM concept has been incorporated in the recent Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act as a potential international offsets mechanism.


 The American Carbon Registry (ACR) is a leading voluntary offset program with strong standards for environmental integrity and over a decade of operational experience in development of high quality carbon standards and methodologies, as well as offset issuance, serialization and transparent on-line transaction reporting.  As the first private voluntary greenhouse gas registry in the U.S., ACR has set the bar for transparency and integrity that is the market standard today.

ACR is a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.