UN climate think tank and IPCC elects British Jim Skea as new president

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UN climate think tank and IPCC elects British Jim Skea as new president


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Jim Skea (2nd from left), new chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), at a previous IPCC press conference. FILE PHOTO | COFFRINI FABRIC | AFP

Delegates to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Nairobi have chosen Jim Skea of ​​the United Kingdom as the new president of the United Nations body.

Professor Skea, 69, was elected during the 59th session of the IPCC which began on Tuesday and ends on Friday.

UNEP and Kenya host the meeting of delegates to elect the new IPCC bureau, including the new chair, working group co-chairs and the Bureau of the Working Group on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

“Climate change poses an existential threat to our planet. My ambition is to lead a truly representative and inclusive IPCC, one that looks to the future while harnessing the opportunities we have in the present,” he said to delegates on Wednesday.

“In doing so, I will pursue three priorities: improving inclusion and diversity, protecting the scientific integrity and policy relevance of IPCC assessment reports, and effectively using the best available science on climate change. My actions in as Chair of the IPCC will ensure that these ambitions are realised.”

Professor Skea obtained 90 votes to 69 in a second round with Brazilian Thelma Krug.

Four candidates vied for the position. Others were Debra Roberts from South Africa and Jean-Pascal van Ypersele from Belgium.

The election of the new IPCC Bureau, which will have 34 members, including the chair, paves the way for the start of work on the IPCC’s Seventh Assessment Report, which is expected to be completed within the next five to seven years.

The panel will also elect the 12 members of the Bureau of the Working Group on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, according to a UNEP statement released on Wednesday.

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