Professor Jim Skea, the UK’s candidate for chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is in Jamaica this week.
The IPCC is the United Nations (UN) body responsible for providing policymakers with scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.
Professor Skea has contributed to the IPCC’s work for nearly 30 years and, as the current co-chair of the IPCC working group on mitigation, was instrumental in the IPCC’s recently-published sixth Synthesis Report. This hard-hitting, evidence-based report warned that global warming is continuing and that the world may face irreversible and catastrophic impacts. But, it also concluded that, if drastic action is taken now, the worst effects of climate change can still be avoided.
Professor Skea, is visiting the Caribbean to engage with regional leaders on the pressing issue of climate change. The visit aims to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on vulnerable populations, particularly in small-island developing states.
As part of this effort, Skea will attend the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum on Thursday (May 18), where he will engage with Caribbean foreign ministers and share his vision for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The discussion will also provide an opportunity for Skea to gain deeper insights into the unique climate challenges facing the Caribbean region and explore ways in which the international community can better support the region’s efforts to combat climate change.
Skea’s visit to the region is a demonstration of his commitment to ensuring that the IPCC’s work takes into account the diverse impacts of climate change on different communities, ecosystems, and regions. By engaging with leaders in the Caribbean, Skea hopes to identify how scientific knowledge relevant to the interests of small-island developing states can best be brought to international fora.
Professor Skea is a champion of inclusivity and part of his vision for the IPCC is to strengthen community engagement.
Since he arrived in Kingston, he has met with Caribbean youth climate activists who are currently witnessing and will increasingly experience some of the most dramatic impacts of a changing climate, to ensure their voices are heard and reflected in the highest levels of global decision making on climate.
The IPCC Chair elections will take place in Nairobi in July. This will mark the beginning of the seventh assessment cycle of the IPCC, covering the remainder of this critical decade for the future of our planet.