ANU Professor elected as a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Photo: Tracey Nearmy/ANU
2 August 2023

Professor Mark Howden, Director of The Australian National University Institute for Climate Change, Energy & Disaster Solutions, has been re-elected as a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its next reporting cycle.

The IPCC is the United Nations body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change and produces regular reports on the current state of knowledge about climate change and responses to this. These assessments take place in approximately seven year cycles and bring together thousands of scientists across the globe working together to provide comprehensive reports about the causes, potential impacts and response options to climate change. During a four-day meeting held in Nairobi last week, the Panel elected its new Bureau to lead the IPCC through its seventh assessment cycle, which included Professor Mark Howden re-elected as a Vice-Chair of Working Group II. 

Professor Howden said he is “very pleased” to continue his work with the IPCC, which started with its Second Assessment in 1991. Serving as a major contributor to each reporting cycle since, Professor Howden also shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC participants and Al Gore. He has worked across all four domains of the IPCC: climate science, impacts and adaptation, emission-reduction and greenhouse gas inventories.

As the elections took place during the world’s hottest month on record, Professor Howden said “The increasing rate of climate change but also of climate responses means that this IPCC assessment cycle, which will finish in 2030, comes at a critical time.”

“Crucial topics for this cycle will likely be how to accelerate implementation of both the energy transition and of climate adaptation. Integration of effective climate responses with broader sustainable development goals is likely to also be a continuing theme. One that is of particular relevance to the Asia-Pacific region” he said.

Professor Mark Howden is also an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, and helped develop both the national and international greenhouse gas inventories that are a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement.