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by Staff reporter
26 July 2023
Scottish Government just transition tsar elected chair of UN climate body

Scottish Government just transition tsar elected chair of UN climate body

The Scottish Government’s just transition tsar has been elected chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Jim Skea has been advising Scottish ministers on moving to a net zero economy in a fair way, without leaving people behind, since 2019 as part of the Just Transition Commission.

He has also co-chaired the IPCC’s working group on climate change mitigation and reducing emissions since 2015, having been involved in the organisation since it was created in the 1990s.

The IPCC is the United Nation’s climate change body, regularly publishing reports collating the latest science.

Skea was elected as the new chair by 90 votes to 69 in a run-off against one other contender.

In a statement, he said he was “humbled and deeply honoured” to take on the role.

He added: “As chair, I will address three key priorities: ensuring inclusive participation and collaboration across all regions; promoting the use of the best and most relevant science; and maximizing the reach and impact of the IPCC’s work through engagement with policymakers and other stakeholders.”

He takes the reigns at a crucial time in the world’s attempt to tackle climate change, with serious adverse weather events having ramped up in recent years.

The election took place at the UN’s environment headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He defeated three other candidates.

Skea is set to speak at Holyrood’s Climate Action Summit in November.

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