The Secretary-General of the United Nations announced today that he was appointing two new Special Envoys on Climate Change: Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and Srgjan Kerim, former Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The role of the Special Envoys will be to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to promote international co-operation on climate change. In particular, they will play a part in facilitating progress in the ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The next round of these talks is due to take place at the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP 14) in Poznań, Poland, from 1 to 12 December 2008. The meeting in Poznań is expected mark a transition from the pre-negotiation phase to the commencement of formal negotiations towards an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. The aim is to conclude these negotiations by December 2009. Given the importance and complexity of the issues involved, this is an ambitious target and states will need all the help they can get. Yet, it remains to be seen whether the two newly announced Special Envoys will have an appreciable impact on the progress of the negotiations or whether they will simply get in the way when the talking starts getting tough. See press release.