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IPCC Swiss miss out on chance to lead climate panel

Thomas Stocker was one of six candidates competing for the top post at IPCC

(Keystone)

Hoesung Lee from Korea was elected as the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Tuesday evening. Despite a strong campaign, Swiss climate scientist Thomas Stocker narrowly missed out on the top job. 

Stocker was among six candidates vying for the top position at the IPCC. The election to the world’s pre-eminent climate body at the IPCC annual plenary meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia was far from straightforward. No candidate was able to get a simple majority in the first round of voting. A second ballot featuring the two candidates with the highest number of votes was required to determine the winning candidate. 

Stocker failed to make the second ballot by a slim margin of two votes, which saw South Korean nominee Hoesung Lee take on Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of Belgium for the IPCC Chair. Lee won the second ballot to secure his place as IPCC chair. Other candidates contesting the elections were Chris Field from the US, Nebojsa Nakicenovic from Austria and Montenegro, and Ogunlade Davidson from Sierra Leone. 

Stocker’s election campaign, which was financed with federal funds, included visiting 30 countries in search of votes. His role as the chair of the IPCC Working Group 1, as well as Swiss neutrality and proximity to the UN made him a strong candidate for the top job. He will continue to serve as professor of climate and environmental physics at the University of Bern, a post he has occupied since 1993.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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