Australian former PM in line for climate job at UN: media

09:16, July 22, 2010      

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Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd was considered by the United Nations for a top-level job as an adviser on climate change, local media reported on Thursday.

Rudd spent several days in New York last week meeting with UN officials.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is now considering creating a dedicated role for him as a top-level adviser on climate change, according to a diplomatic source with knowledge of the plan.

According to the Courier-Mail, the UN appointment's term and start date have not been fixed, most likely to give Rudd the flexibility to begin any time he likes.

A UN spokesperson in New York Wednesday night refused to comment on speculation about Rudd's future with the organization.

"We don't comment on appointments until they're announced," the spokesperson said, referring to Rudd's recent meeting with Ban as a "courtesy call".

Despite the former prime minister's domestic failure on introducing a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS) in Australia, Rudd is popular among UN delegates for reversing Australia's position on the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.

He could have been a contender to replace Dutch climate change advocate Yvo de Boer, who resigned as chief of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat in February following the Copenhagen talks, a diplomatic source told the Courier-Mail.

De Boer's replacement, Christiana Figueres, was named in May and started in the role on July 8, a fortnight after Rudd was ousted as prime minister by his ruling Labor Party.

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