World

GROUNDUP

UK professor Jim Skea elected chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at critical juncture

UK professor Jim Skea elected chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at critical juncture
Jim Skea of the United Kingdom was elected chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

South Africa's professor Debra Roberts had also been in the running to take the helm of the IPCC.

Jim Skea of the United Kingdom was elected chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Nairobi on Wednesday night. The IPCC is one of the most important bodies tackling climate change.

Skea, who has nearly 40 years of experience in climate change, was elected by 90 votes to 69 in a run-off with Thelma Krug.

South Africa’s Professor Debra Roberts, who would have been the first woman and African to be chair, had received support from the African Union as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa, but missed out.

Read more in Daily Maverick: South African scientist Debra Roberts nominated to head world expert body on climate crisis

The elections — the first to have women candidates running for chair — took place at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi during the IPCC’s 59th Session.

Elections for other IPCC Bureau positions, including co-chairs of IPCC working groups, are taking place from 26 to 28 July.

Skea thanked the other candidates and those who voted for him. He paid tribute to outgoing chair Hoesung Lee.

“My ambition is to lead an IPCC that is truly representative and inclusive … where everyone feels valued and heard,” said Skea.

“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,” he told delegates.

Kenya’s Climate Change and Forestry Minister Soipan Tuya, who welcomed the candidates earlier in the week, said, “Countries like mine, with highly variable climate and high vulnerability, will continue to bear the brunt of climate change in the absence of appropriate response measures.

“We all appreciate that for the various climate change interventions of adaptation and mitigation to be effected, we need climate financing that is both responsive and at scale.”

She said that together with the African Union, Kenya would be hosting the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi from 4 to 6 September. It will be themed on Africa’s renewable energy, arable land potential, critical minerals and the carbon sinks on the continent. DM

First published by GroundUp.

To read all about Daily Maverick’s recent The Gathering: Earth Edition, click here.

Gallery
Absa OBP

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.