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U.N. appoints Mexican diplomat as top official in fight against global warming

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa in a 2012 file photo.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa in a 2012 file photo.  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

The United Nations has appointed a Mexican diplomat as the top U.N. official leading the fight against global warming.

Patricia Espinosa said in a statement Thursday that she is "grateful and honored" to be named executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The appointment was announced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The 57-year-old Espinosa is Mexico's ambassador to Germany so she won't have to move far — the U.N.'s climate secretariat is in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany.

She will succeed Costa Rican Christiana Figueres who is stepping down in July after six years as the U.N.'s climate boss.

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Espinosa's main task will be to ensure that countries implement a landmark agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, reached in Paris in December.

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