The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has elected Jim Skea of the United Kingdom as its newly elected Chair. With nearly forty years of climate science experience and expertise, Jim Skea will lead the IPCC through its seventh assessment cycle. Jim Skea won the election with 90 votes to 69 in a run-off against Thelma Krug.
IPCC, the scientific organization created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in order to provide objective and scientifically based information on climate change to policy makers around the world, change leadership.
The new director is Jim Skea, British professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London and who co-chaired the solutions report in the panel's latest round of publications. In a statement on his Twitter account, Skea said he was "honored" to have been chosen.
“Climate change is an existential threat to our planet. My ambition is to lead an IPCC that is truly representative and inclusive, an IPCC that looks to the future while seizing the opportunities we have today. An IPCC where everyone feels valued and heard,” he added in his speech to the delegates who attended the elections.
The election took place at the United Nations Environment Program headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, where the IPCC is holding its 59th session. Four candidates ran for the IPCC Chair. Skea was elected by a vote of 90 to 69 in a runoff with Thelma Krug.
“In this, I will pursue three priorities: enhancing inclusion and diversity, protecting the scientific integrity and policy relevance of IPCC assessment reports, and making effective use of the best available science on climate change. My actions as chair of the IPCC will ensure that these ambitions are realized," Skea said.
Who is Jim Skea?
Jim Skea, a 69-year-old academic, holds the prestigious position of Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London. His illustrious career spanning decades has been entirely devoted to comprehending the challenges posed by climate change and advocating for decisive actions to combat its effects.
During the recent sixth assessment cycle of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jim Skea served as the Co-Chair of Working Group III, which focuses on evaluating strategies for mitigating climate change.
Professor Skea's research interests primarily revolve around energy, climate change, and technological innovation. His expertise has earned him the position of Chair of Scotland's Just Transition Commission, where he actively contributes to the development of sustainable policies. He was also a founding member of the UK's Committee on Climate Change, where he acted as a representative for Scotland.
His contributions to the field of energy research and climate change mitigation have been substantial. Between 2012 and 2017, he held the esteemed role of Research Councils UK's Energy Strategy Fellow, and from 2015 to 2017, he served as the President of the Energy Institute. Moreover, he played a significant role as the Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre from 2004 to 2012.
Jim Skea's academic journey began at Edinburgh University, where he pursued Mathematical Physics as an undergraduate. He later earned his PhD in energy research from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory. Subsequently, he traveled to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to work on emerging US energy and environment policies in 1981.
Throughout his career, he held academic positions at various prestigious institutions, including the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University, where he became a Professorial Fellow in 1994, and the Policy Studies Institute, where he served as Director from 1998 to 2004.
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