Today I announce the appointment of Mr Peter Woolcott as Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment. In this role, Mr Woolcott will promote Australia’s national interests on global environment issues. He will also take on the responsibilities of the Ambassador for Climate Change, replacing Justin Lee, leading Australia’s negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The appointment of an Ambassador for the Environment reflects the comprehensive Australian interests which are at stake across the spectrum of the international environmental agenda.

Mr Woolcott is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was most recently Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and to the Conference on Disarmament. Prior to this, he was Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, Ambassador in Rome and Permanent Representative to the World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organisation. Mr Woolcott has also served in Jakarta, Honolulu, Manila, Buenos Aires and Kingston.

Mr Woolcott has also held senior positions in Canberra, including as First Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Division, and as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (2002–04).

Mr Woolcott holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Australian National University, and a Master of Arts degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Mr Woolcott will take up his appointment in November. I thank outgoing Ambassador Justin Lee for his valuable contribution to Australia’s engagement on international climate change issues since 2012.

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