"South African Heads Race for UN Climate Chief"

"South Africa's minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk is front-runner to replace Yvo de Boer as UN climate chief, sources familiar with the selection process told Reuters on Thursday.

The run-off is between developing country candidates, reflecting their rising status in stalled UN climate talks to agree a successor to the existing Kyoto Protocol. De Boer, of the Netherlands, steps down on July 1 after almost four years.

An interview panel had selected a final shortlist of van Schalkwyk and Costa Rica's Christiana Figueres, one source said, adding van Schalkwyk had the support of key countries. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would make the final decision."

Gerard Wynn and Alister Doyle report for Reuters May 7, 2010.

Source: Reuters, 05/07/2010