The United Nations’ climate science body today chose the U.K.’s Jim Skea as its new boss.
Skea beat Brazilian climate scientist Thelma Krug to become the new chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In a statement, Skea said he was “humbled and deeply honoured,” adding that he would focus on “three priorities” during his tenure — ensuring inclusivity, expanding the IPCC’s reach and impact, and “promoting the use of the best and most relevant science.”
The change in leadership comes as the IPCC, whose reports provide a definitive account of current climate science, has increasingly spelled out what choices governments need to make to limit global warming and its impacts.
Skea beat Krug by 90 votes to 69, the IPCC said in an emailed statement. In the first round, both Debra Roberts and Jean-Pascal Van Ypserle, a Belgian, lost. This means the IPCC will again be led by a man scientist, as it has not had a female chair before.
Skea, professor of sustainable energies at Imperial College London has been co-chairing the IPCC’s working group for climate change mitigation in its previous assessment cycle.
He will replace South Korea’s Hoesung Lee, who faced criticism for his handling of a recent climate science report.
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