China has named Zhang Yong, the former director of the Food and Drugs Administration, as the nation’s new lead climate change official, the National Development and Reform Commission announced Tuesday.
Zhang will replace Xie Zhenhua, who retired last week after holding the position since 2007.
Zhang was promoted into the NDRC leadership last week, and the agency on Tuesday updated his profile to say he will be in charge of the climate change department.
In practice that makes him China’s climate change minister, although his formal title is vice director of the NDRC.
The announcement only listed Zhang’s areas of responsibility, and did not specifically say whether he would lead China’s delegations to UN climate talks, although his predecessor did.
Zhang, who has not previously worked with climate change issues, enters the position just nine months ahead of the crucial UN climate talks in Paris, where more than 190 nations hope to agree on a new international climate deal.
In addition to climate change, Zhang will also oversee investment in fixed assets and rural development.
Zhang was the Food and Drugs Administration director from March 2013. Before that he served as a director in the State Council Food Safety Office and as a deputy secretary-general of the State Council, China’s cabinet.
By Stian Reklev – email@example.com