TORONTO – The head of the U.N.'s environmental agency says Maurice Strong, whose work helped lead to the landmark climate summit that begins in Paris on Monday, has died. He was 86.
"Strong will forever be remembered for placing the environment on the international agenda and at the heart of development," Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in a statement Saturday.
The statement did not provide details of Strong's passing.
The Canadian-born Strong, the first UNEP chief, organized the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which led to the launch of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Christiana Figueres, the current head of the U.N. climate agency, tweeted Saturday that "we thank Maurice Strong for his visionary impetus to our understanding of sustainability. We will miss you."