James Ferguson Skea Elected as New IPCC Chair

In a momentous election conducted at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, James Ferguson ‘Jim’ Skea, a distinguished climate scientist hailing from the United Kingdom, secured the position of Chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The election outcome was a result of a run-off between Skea and Thelma Krug of Brazil, with Skea obtaining 90 votes and Krug earning 69 votes. Notably, Krug, who had previously served as an IPCC vice-chair and was a former researcher at Brazil’s national space institute, came close to making history as the first female chair of the IPCC.

Skea, a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London, brings with him nearly four decades of invaluable climate science expertise. He is well-positioned to lead the IPCC through its seventh assessment cycle, a critical phase in tackling climate change challenges. The newly elected IPCC Bureau, which includes 34 members along with the Chair, is primed to initiate work on the Seventh Assessment Report. This landmark report is anticipated to be completed within the next five to seven years.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific organization founded in 1988, operates under the auspices of the United Nations. Comprising thousands of dedicated scientists from around the world, the IPCC serves the vital role of assessing and providing objective information on climate change, its impacts, and potential strategies for adaptation and mitigation.

The comprehensive assessment reports produced by the IPCC are instrumental in guiding policymakers and governments as they make informed decisions on climate-related policies and actions. These reports offer an extensive overview of the current state of climate science, potential risks, and viable pathways to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change.

The IPCC’s monumental efforts have significantly contributed to heightening global awareness about climate change and the urgent need for collective action. The organization has played a pivotal role in shaping essential international climate agreements and frameworks, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.

With its continuous scientific assessments, the IPCC remains a key driving force behind the ongoing global efforts to combat climate change and its far-reaching impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. Its unwavering commitment to providing reliable and up-to-date information ensures that the world is better equipped to tackle this unprecedented global challenge.