Dr Maheswar Rupakheti elected Vice Chair of IPCC Working Group I

A meeting of the IPCC in Nairobi elected Dr Rupakheti, who is an atmospheric scientist, to this position.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal’s candidate for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Maheswar Rupakheti, has been elected to the post of Vice Chair of the Working Group I.

A meeting of the IPCC in Nairobi elected Dr Rupakheti to this position.

Research leader at the Research Institute for Sustainability–Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) Germany, Rupakheti is an atmospheric scientist. Talking to Nepal LiveToday, Dr Rupakheti said it was indeed a matter of pride for Nepal and personally for him as well.

“The IPCC has now just elected the Bureau for the preparation of 7th assessment reports on Science related to climate change. Three reports will come out at the end of the cycle, with first coming out in 2029, second in 2030 and third in 2031,” said Dr Rupakheti. “The Bureau had its informal meeting on Saturday in Nairobi. We will soon meet in person in a couple of months to develop a calendar of events and outputs. We will carry over the tasks already planned and endorsed by the IPCC during the 6th assessment cycle.”

During the four-day long 59th Session, the member governments elected the new IPCC Bureau comprising 34 members, including the new IPCC Chair and three Vice-Chairs. The Panel also elected the 12 members of the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI).

The elections, which took place in Nairobi from 25 to 28 July, mark the end of the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle and the beginning of the seventh assessment.  

Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London, Jim Skea, has been elected Chair of the IPCC. “Climate change is an existential threat to our planet. My ambition is to lead an IPCC that is truly representative and inclusive, an IPCC looking to the future while exploiting the opportunities that we have in the present. An IPCC where everyone feels valued and heard,” said Skea in his address to the delegates attending the IPCC elections.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states. The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.

‘Global boiling has arrived’

Speaking in New York on Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that climate change is here. “It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.”

Guterres described the intense heat across the northern hemisphere as a “cruel summer”. “For the entire planet, it is a disaster,” he said, noting that “short of a mini-Ice Age over the next days, July 2023 will shatter records across the board.” He also pleaded for immediate radical action on climate change to save humanity.