UN chief names choices for top UN environments posts

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Norway's former environment and development minister Erik Solheim to head the U.N. environment agency and announced his choice of Mexican ambassador Patricia Espinosa Cantellano for the U.N.'s top climate change post.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Solheim's appointment Tuesday and Ban's intention to appoint Espinosa as executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change after consulting its member nations.

Solheim will succeed Achim Steiner as executive director of the United Nations Environment Program known as UNEP. He currently heads the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's committee on development assistance and serves as UNEP's special envoy for environment, conflict and disaster.

Espinosa has specialized in climate change, sustainable development, global governance and human rights. She would replace Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica.