Xie Zhenhua was already past China’s official retirement age of 60 for male bureaucrats when he helped to broker the Paris Agreement.
Now 71, the veteran has been pressed into service again as Beijing’s climate envoy, a familiar face for the US’ John Kerry to do business with.
While Xie is widely respected in the climate community, his return highlights the lack of an obvious successor, with no other Chinese diplomat reaching the same level of visibility.
For fresh faces, look to Barbados, Denmark, Costa Rica and Malawi, whence leaders are emerging on some of the key issues in the run-up to Cop26.
To let us know who you’d add to the international dream team, get in touch by email or Twitter.
This week’s stories…
- US campaigners call on Joe Biden to commit $8bn to the Green Climate Fund
- Climate veteran Xie Zhenhua returns as China’s special envoy
- Indian farmers head for showdown with government over agricultural reform
- Cop26 dream team: The people setting the climate agenda on seven key issues
- Court condemns French government over climate inaction with symbolic €1 fine
- Chinese inspectors slam energy authority over coal expansion spree
- New Zealand urged to accelerate emissions cuts in line with 2050 net zero goal
- Blocked migrant caravan leaves thousands trapped in hurricane-hit Honduras
…and climate conversations
India’s farming crisis
Delhi is besieged with tens of thousands of farmers, angry about agricultural market reforms that expose them to pricing pressure from big companies.
Tensions are escalating ahead of major protests planned for Saturday, with youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate weighing in on the farmers’ side.
Because this is a climate change story. Erratic rainfall, coupled with unsustainable practices, has made farming an increasingly precarious livelihood – and the removal of a government safety net is the last straw.