Climate change in UN

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The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have this week appointed a new leader, Hoesung Lee from the Republic of Korea, fighting off competition from five other candidates.

The IPCC are responsible for receiving scientific research, and climate measurements, from across the world. It is then the panel’s job to provide an objective assessment of the data before liaising with governments to ensure appropriate legislation is in place to reduce the effects.

interest will be given to job creation, health, innovation and technological development

Re-election was required after worldwide media controversy arose within the IPCC in February 2015 surrounding the former leader Dr Rajendra Pachauri, leader of the panel for 12 years after being elected unopposed. He was accused of charges of sexual harassment towards a 26 year old member of his research institute after sending unwanted texts and other communications. Although he denies the allegations, he admitted that he would be unable to continue within his role, and consequently stepped down. Dr Pachauri was originally introduced after the preceding leader was told to step down by the US government after being perceived as too alarmist. Both of these issues are likely to be a consideration for Hoesung Lee in his future policy making.

On Wednesday 7th October, Hoesung Lee gave his opening statement where he outlined his intentions as leader. This generally involved improving communications between the IPCC and the general public through the media, something he states as being a “critical component of the IPCC’s work”. His plan is to focus on developing countries, targeting research centres of excellence for climate science, adaption and mitigation. It is his belief that this can also improve economic development and poverty reduction.

The new policies  are likely to result in clearer communication links between the IPCC and the public through the media, including more awareness of their role.

As an economist himself, he wishes to focus on private sector business as a method of reducing climate change. Businesses can be beneficial in helping to analyse IPCC findings, and can then act upon them. Particular interest will be given to job creation, health, innovation and technological development.

The new policies from Hoesung Lee this week are likely to result in clearer communication links between the IPCC and the public through the media, including more awareness of their role. In addition to this, he will build on the results of last years ‘Fifth Assessment Report’ to build on the means of reducing human-caused climate change that have already been developed.

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