New IPCC Chair
The previous chairman of the IPCC, railway engineer and soft porn writer Rajendra Pachauri, faces allegations of sexual harassment and has at last been replaced after 13 years in post. After an election involving representatives of 134 different countries, his replacement has been announced as Hoesung Lee, an economist from Korea, see IPCC press release. His CV reveals the intriguing fact that he worked for Exxon for three years in the 1970s. He has been involved with the IPCC since 1992, as part of IPCC WGIII, Mitigation of Climate Change. Lee appears already to have got himself in something of a muddle regarding the IPCC’s remit. The IPCC principles say that “The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive”. However in an interview quoted here he makes a clear policy call for a carbon tax: “Climate change is a typical example of externalities and the way to correct the externality problem is to have a price on certain activities that cause those externalities. In our case, that is a price on carbon emissions – what you may call a carbon tax”. Mike Shellenberger is not impressed: Runner-up in the election Jean-Pascal van Ypersele might have been expected to congratulate Lee, but does not appear to have done so, though he did retweet someone describing himself as “the best IPCC Chair the IPCC never had”. See coverage elsewhere from the BBC, Climate Home, Revkin in NYT, Carbon Brief, Bishop Hill, Nature.
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