British professor Jim Skea elected new IPCC president
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has elected British scientist Jim Skea as its new chairman, the UN body announced on Wednesday. Skea beat three other candidates, including Belgian climatologist Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele.
Jim Skea, currently a professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London, is co-chair of the IPCC's working group on climate change mitigation. He now succeeds Hoesung Lee of South Korea, an economist specialising in energy, who was elected chair of the IPCC in October 2015.
On Twitter (now X), Skea writes that he is "moved and honoured" by his election. He will lead the organisation until 2030. In addition to his academic career and having been involved in the work of the IPCC since 1994, Skea also served on the UK's Committee on Climate Change for 11 years. According to the Imperial College London, he "played a crucial role in setting the initial target of reducing the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050".
The vote took place at an IPCC meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday. Skea beat three rivals, including Belgian climatologist Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele. Brazilian Thelma Krug was also in the running. She has been a vice-chair of the IPCC for years. South African Debra Roberts was also in the running. She is currently co-chair of the IPCC's second working group, which assesses the impacts of climate change on societies and ecosystems.
Shortly after the election, Belgian candidate Van Ypersele congratulated Skea in a tweet, saying, "The IPCC will be in good hands under your leadership".
New IPCC chairman Jim Skea © FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP