Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian climate change expert, Ladislaus Chang’a, was Thursday elected among three new co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), alongside Hungarian Diana Urge-Vorsatz and Cuban Ramón Pichs-Madruga.
IPCC is a United Nations body that assesses the science related to climate change. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. Its assessments are crucial to the international negotiations to tackle climate change.
Dr Chang’a and his fellow co-chairs were elected during the IPCC’s 59th Session in Nairobi, Kenya. The election saw Jim Skea of the United Kingdom becoming the newly elected Chair of the IPCC, expected to lead the body through its seventh assessment cycle.
Dr Chang’a has worked in climate, meteorology and climate change since 1995, his biography on the IPCC’s website states.
He is an expert in a wide range of experience in climate services, including climate observation and monitoring, climate data processing and analysis, weather forecasting, seasonal climate prediction, generation of climate information and products and climate data management.
According to his CV, Dr Chang’a has participated in several research and project activities related to climate services, climate variability and climate change, and the role of Indigenous Knowledge in climate forecasting and climate change adaptation.
He has participated in preparing National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the National Climate Change Strategies and National Climate Change Communication Strategies, and review of the IPCC reports (AR4 and AR5, AR6).
Many people congratulated Dr Chang’a on Thursday’s election, including the UK ambassador to Tanzania, David Concar, who described his election as “great news.”
“Delighted two renowned experts from the UK and Tanzania will be leading the work of this vital institution,” Mr Concar said in a Twitter post. “Many congratulations to both of you.”
Since 2022, Dr Chang’a has been Acting Director General of the Tanzania Meteorological Authority, responsible for the overall leadership and management of the state authority with 530 staff.
Dr Chang’a also works part-time at the University of Dar Es Salaam, teaching climatology, climate monitoring and prediction for BSc students, and the science of climate change for MSc students.
The election of the new IPCC Bureau, which will have 34 members, including the Chair, opens the way for work to start on the IPCC’s Seventh Assessment Report, expected to be completed in the coming five to seven years, IPCC reported.
The Panel will also elect the 12 members of the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI).
The IPCC completed its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) in March 2023, finding that, among other things, the pace and scale of climate action are insufficient to tackle climate change.
IPCC also found that multiple, feasible, and effective options are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, naming enabling conditions that include finance, technology, capacity building, and international cooperation.