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NAIROBI, July 26 – Jim Skea of the United Kingdom is the newly elected Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With nearly forty years of climate science experience and expertise, Jim 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.
“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 realized.”
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 26-28 July.
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.
Jim Skea, aged 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.
Jim Skea’s full CV can be found here.
The election of the new IPCC Bureau, which will have 34 members, including the Chair, opens the way for work to start on the IPCC’s Seventh Assessment Report, expected to be completed in the coming five to seven years. The Panel will also elect the 12 members of the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI).
The IPCC completed its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) in March 2023. The key findings of the AR6 Synthesis Report are:
- The pace and scale of climate action are insufficient to tackle climate change.
- Multiple, feasible, and effective options are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change.
- Enabling conditions include finance, technology, capacity building, and international cooperation.
The candidates for IPCC Chair, with the countries that nominated them, included:
- Thelma Krug (Brazil)
- Debra Roberts (South Africa)
- Jim Skea (United Kingdom)
- Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium)
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