Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

Christiana Figueres is a world authority on global climate change who served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016; currently, Figueres is vice chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, ClimateWorks Board Member, World Bank Climate Leader and Mission2020 Convenor. She joins CHQ Assembly this summer to discuss the current state of environmental efforts across the globe. During her tenure at the UNFCCC, Figueres brought together national and subnational governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and communities of faith, think tanks and technology providers, NGOs and parliamentarians, to jointly deliver the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, in which 195 sovereign nations agreed on a collaborative path forward to limit future global warming to below 2C. The agreement entered into force in less than a year, breaking the record of the UN. For this achievement, Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy, and has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career — including the Great Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany, the Legion of Honor of France, and induction into the Earth Hall of Fame in Kyoto, Japan. Figueres began her career in public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982, and played a number of roles in the UNFCCC before formally joining the Secretariat. She has an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. Tom Rivett-Carnac served as Ambassador Figueres’ senior advisor at the United Nations, where he focused on the political strategy toward achieving the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015. He is co-founder, with Ambassador Figueres, of Global Optimism, a purpose-driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change. Together, they authored The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis. Rivett-Carnac previously served as president and CEO of CDP North America, an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies.