People, Environment

New UN Climate Panel Chief Outlines Goals

New UN Climate Panel Chief Outlines GoalsNew UN Climate Panel Chief Outlines Goals

South Korea’s Hoesung Lee, selected on Tuesday to head the UN’s panel of climate scientists, favors wider pricing of carbon dioxide output to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases the group blames for global warming.

He told Reuters in a telephone interview he would seek to open the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, traditionally led by scientists from Europe and North America, to experts from around the world.

He added that the IPCC would also strive to include more women scientists in its work, make its science better known and narrow down uncertainties about the future pace of global warming.

Government representatives meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia, picked the professor of the economics of climate change to succeed India’s Rajendra Pachauri as chair of the IPCC, whose findings are the main guide for combating global warming.

IPCC scientists say that warming is causing more heat waves, downpours and rising sea levels around the world.

Lee, 69, beat five rivals for the job as head of the world’s top authority on climate change, including Belgium’s Jean-Pascal van Ypersele by 78-56 votes in a runoff. He will be chair for six to eight years to oversee a mammoth report about global warming.

The last IPCC reports in 2013-14 concluded it is 95% probable that human activities, led by the burning of fossil fuels, are the main cause of warming since 1950. Warming meant risks of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts,” it said.

In a candidate’s statement released earlier this year, Lee wrote, “I  want to  support  what  has  worked,  keep  what  is  needed  and  change  what  needs improvement across IPCC’s mode of operation, its activities and communication of its findings.”

He cited needs to “enhance  participation  of  developing  country  experts” in IPCC’s activities, to incorporate  “inputs  from  the  business,  industry  and  finance where  the  messages  from  science  and  policy  communities  are  interpreted and acted upon,” and to “pay special attention to climate change issues associated with job creation, health,  innovation and technology  development, energy  access  and  poverty alleviation.”

Lee, until now a vice-chair of IPCC, will be the UN’s top climate scientist when almost 200 nations meet in Paris in from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, seeking to agree a new global deal to slow climate change.