De Boer has been the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for nearly four years. At KPMG, he will work with member firms on advising businesses and governments on sustainability issues.
“Sustainability is high on the agenda of investors, companies and governments alike. This demands new partnerships that foster strong economic growth, while respecting the need to protect the environment,” de Boer said.
“Although it is the role of governments to provide the necessary policy framework, I have always maintained that business will deliver the necessary innovation and solutions, providing the right conditions are created. With KPMG, I now have a chance to help make that happen.”
Climate change head negotiator
KPMG’s global head of advisory Alan Buckle said de Boer will have a key role in developing a sustainability framework for clients.
De Boer, the world’s leading climate change negotiator, facilitated the recent climate summit in Copenhagen but was unable to convince rich developed countries and developing economies to strike a formal agreement that would bind them to radical emissions reductions.
De Boer denies a lack of progress led to his decision to step down and it is understood the Dutchman was seeking new opportunities prior to the summit.
“Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming,” de Boer added.
Sustainability experts widely believe the private sector has as much of a role to play towards combating climate change as governments. De Boer’s departure before November’s make-or-break climate meeting in Mexico places enormous pressure on the UN to find an experienced and skilled replacement for what has been billed as one of the most complex UN negotiations in history.