British scientist Jim Skea named new Chair of IPCC

Skea was elected by 90 votes to 69 in a run-off with Thelma Krug…reports Asian Lite News

Jim Skea of the UK is the newly elected Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body assessing climate change science.

With nearly 40 years of climate science experience and expertise, Skea will lead the IPCC through its seventh assessment cycle.

Skea was elected by 90 votes to 69 in a run-off with Thelma Krug, the IPCC said in a statement.

“Climate change is an existential threat to our planet. My ambition is to lead an IPCC that is truly representative and inclusive, an IPCC looking to the future while exploiting the opportunities that we have in the present. An IPCC where everyone feels valued and heard,” said Skea in his address to the delegates attending the IPCC elections.

“In this, I will pursue three priorities — improving inclusiveness and diversity, shielding scientific integrity and policy relevance of IPCC assessment reports, and making the effective use of the best available science on climate change. My actions as the Chair of the IPCC will ensure that these ambitions are realised,” he added.

The election took place at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, where the IPCC is holding its 59th session.

Elections for other positions in the IPCC Bureau, including the Co-Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups, will take place from July 26-28.

Four candidates ran for the Chair of the IPCC. These were the first elections in the history of the IPCC with women candidates running for this position.

Skea, 69, is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London. During the IPCC’s just completed sixth assessment cycle, Skea was the Co-Chair of Working Group III, assessing the mitigation of climate change.

Most of his career, spreading over decades, has been dedicated to ensuring that the challenges of climate change are understood, and actions to avert them are taken.

Responding to the election of the new IPCC Chair, Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International, told IANS: “As the world grapples with life-threatening heatwaves, devastating floods, and catastrophic wildfires intensified by global warming, the newly appointed IPCC chair, Jim Skea, assumes a critical role. His mission extends beyond merely placing science at the heart of climate action; it involves infusing a deep sense of urgency within the global community about the imperative to act quickly and decisively.”

“The role of scientists in this global crisis now surpasses the conventional confines of research and analysis. They are being called upon to serve as forceful advocates for practical solutions, actively championing measures based on equity and justice that will effectively tackle the escalating climate change crisis,” she added.

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