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Climate change figurehead behind the Paris agreement receives Edinburgh Medal

© Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TimeChristiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres

The driving force behind the Paris agreement has been honoured at the Edinburgh Science Festival.

On Friday, Christiana Figueres, former United Nations executive secretary for climate change, was presented with the prestigious Edinburgh Medal.

It is given to men and women of science and technology who have made significant contributions to humanity.

Ms Figueres was awarded the medal for her work as a recognised world leader on global climate change and her efforts in bringing nations together to jointly deliver an unprecedented climate change agreement.

She was instrumental in the successful conclusion of the Paris talks in 2015.

The summit saw all of the world’s nations agree for the first time to a binding commitment to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

Previous recipients of the Edinburgh Medal include Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Sir David Attenborough, Professor Jane Goodall, Cordelia Fine, Colin Blakemore and Professor Peter Higgs.

Of her win, Ms Figueres said: “It is a true honour to join a long list of illustrious recipients of the Edinburgh Medal, in our collective quest to advance science as the basis of policy and innovation.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the issue of climate change was one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

The SNP MSP said: “With her passion, drive and persuasiveness, it is extremely fitting that Ms Figueres was given the Edinburgh Medal.”