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IPCC elects Jim Skea as new chair

Newly elected IPCC Chair Jim Skea. PHOTO/IPCC


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elected a new Chair on Wednesday, Jim Skea, United Kingdom, will serve as IPCC Chair for the duration of the Panel’s seventh assessment cycle, which is expected to conclude in 2030.

Skea is a veteran IPCC expert, having served as Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III during the sixth assessment cycle, and played a key role in the production and approval of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.

Four candidates were vying for the position of IPCC Chair, and the elections went to a run-off between Skea and IPCC Vice-Chair Thelma Krug of Brazil. Ultimately Skea prevailed, securing 90 votes to Krug’s 69.

Elections for other open positions, including IPCC Vice-Chairs, Working Group and Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Co-Chairs, Working Group Vice-Chairs, and the Task Force Bureau, are continuing.

During the ongoing 59th session, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will lay the foundation for its seventh assessment cycle.

IPCC Bureau and Task Force members will serve throughout the seventh assessment cycle, completing their terms after the acceptance of the next Assessment Report. The next cycle is expected to conclude around 2030, by which time the window for action to limit global warming to 1.5°C will likely have closed.

Established in 1988, the IPCC is made up of 195 governments that are members of the United Nations or the World Meteorological Organization. The Panel provides governments with scientific information that can be used to create climate policies and provides input into multilateral climate change negotiations.

Since its inception, the Panel has prepared a series of comprehensive assessment reports and special reports that provide scientific information on climate change to the international community. Its reports are based on the work of thousands of experts who volunteer as IPCC authors.

The sixth assessment report, which was accepted in March 2023, summarizes the state of knowledge on climate change, its impacts and risks, and possibilities for adaptation and mitigation. This summary report can be found here.

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