Ronny Jumeau, ambassador of Seychelles, was appointed to the U.N. in 2007 with the sole mandate of joining the fight against climate change. Jumeau had been the Seychelles’ Minister of the Environment since 2000 and was leading his government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. In 2006, however, debate began to heat up at the U.N., and Jumeau’s president, James Michell, wanted him to take the lead.
“When I presented my credentials to both President Bush and Kofi Annan, they asked what my priorities are. My response: climate change, climate change, climate change. Climate change is not just another problem for us. We’re talking in many cases about small island states being wiped off the face of the earth, literally disappearing beneath the oceans. So for us, the debate is emotional.”