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IPCC elects Jim Skea as the new Chair

  • IPCC elects Jim Skea as the new Chair
    Credit: Orso3553, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About the entity

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.

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, took 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 also elected 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)

Other elected members of the new IPCC Bureau

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) completed its elections in Nairobi during the four-day long 59th Session; the member governments elected the new IPCC Bureau comprising 34 members, including the new IPCC Chair and three Vice-Chairs, and the 12 members of the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI). The elections mark the end of the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle and the beginning of the seventh assessment.  

The newly elected members of the IPCC Bureau are:  

IPCC Chair  

Jim Skea (United Kingdom) 

IPCC Vice-Chairs 

Ladislaus Chang’a (United Republic of Tanzania) 

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz (Hungary) 

Ramón Pichs-Madruga (Cuba)

Working Group I Co-Chairs 

Robert Vautard (France) 

Xiaoye Zhang (China) 

Working Group II Co-Chairs 

Bart van den Hurk (Netherlands) 

Winston Chow (Singapore) 

Working Group III Co-Chairs 

Katherine Calvin (United States of America) 

Joy Jacqueline Pereira (Malaysia) 

Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Co-Chairs 

Takeshi Enoki (Japan) 

Mazhar Hayat (Pakistan)  

Working Group I Vice-Chairs 

Nana Ama Browne Klutse (Ghana) 

Aida Diongue (Senegal) 

Maheswar Rupakheti (Nepal) 

Inés Camilloni (Argentina) 

Sherilee Harper (Canada) 

Edvin Aldrian (Indonesia) 

Sonia Seneviratne (Switzerland)

Working Group II Vice-Chairs 

Adelle Thomas (Bahamas) 

Fatima Denton (Gambia) 

Cromwel Lukorito (Kenya)  

Raman Sukumar (India) 

Laura Gallardo (Chile) 

Carlos Mendez (Venezuela) 

Zinta Zommers (Latvia) 

Mark Howden (Australia)

Working Group III Vice-Chairs 

Jan Sigurd Fuglestvedt (Norway) 

Siir Kilkis (Türkiye) 

Oliver Geden (Germany) 

Eduardo Calvo (Peru) 

Malak Al Nory (Saudi Arabia)  

Noureddine Yassa (Algeria) 

Gervais Itsoua Madzous (Republic of the Congo) 

The 12 newly elected members of the Task Force Bureau are: 

Hamid Abaka Souleymane (Chad) 

Samir Tantawi (Egypt) 

Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) 

Irma Fabiola Ramirez-Hernandez (Mexico) 

Melissa Weitz (USA) 

Giacomo Grassi (Italy) 

Mohammad Rahimi (Iran) 

Yasna Rojas (Chile) 

Laura Elena Dawidowski (Argentina) 

Joni Jupesta (Indonesia)

Mohd Talib Latif (Malaysia) 

Maria José Sanz Sanchez (Spain)

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