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IPCC elections

cho-chairs.jpgCheck out my story today on NRCC for details on the IPCC elections held last week. News in brief: Rajendra Pachauri is chairman again – he had no contenstants for the chief job on the next assessment report, having overseen the UN climate panel’s transformation to Nobel-winning semi-household name last year. But new co-chairs will lead the three working groups, and their elections had a novel feature: voting.

In 2001 Pachauri won the chairmanship in a memorable contest with science-adviser extraordinaire Bob Watson. Not so for past co-chairs, who were typically the only nominees for their seats – or else regional caucuses eliminated extra nominees before they hit the conference floor. This year, brimming with its increased prestige, the consensus-loving panel had to sort out multiple nominees, leading to one run-off election and one unbroken tie.

The meeting also sealed the deal on spending the Nobel Peace Prize money, as I reported in a sidebar to Jeff Tollefson’s IPCC election coverage in Nature. The panel is setting up a scholarship fund for climate-specialist PhD students and postdocs from the developing world, especially those from least-developed countries. The scholars are also to be drafted as research assistants on future reports – offering the IPCC some valuable human resources and the scholars some valuable experience in burial by literature.

Anna Barnett

Photo: A tie between Youba Sokona (left) and Ramon Pichs-Madruga (right) gave the mitigation working group three new co-chairs in place of its former two. Centre, Ottmar Edenhofer. Courtesy of Jutta Neuhaus, Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.


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