Jim Skea was elected IPCC Chair for the seventh assessment cycle on 26 July 2023 at the 59th Session of the IPCC held in Nairobi, Kenya.
He is a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London with research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. In the sixth assessment cycle he was the Co-Chair of IPCC’s Working Group III which focuses on the mitigation of climate change. He was also part of the scientific leadership for the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C.
Skea is the Chair of the Scotland’s Just Transition Commission and was a founding member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, acting as its Scottish champion.
Between 2012 and 2017 Professor Skea was Research Councils UK’s Energy Strategy Fellow and was President of the Energy Institute between 2015 and 2017. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre from 2004-2012.
Born in Scotland, Jim Skea read Mathematical Physics at Edinburgh University, followed by a PhD in energy research at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory. In 1981, he moved to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to work on emerging US energy and environment policy. Since then he has worked at the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University (1983-1998), where he moved through the ranks, becoming a Professorial Fellow in 1994. He was subsequently Director of the Policy Studies Institute (1998-2004).
He was awarded an OBE in 2004 and CBE in 2013 for his work on sustainable transport and sustainable energy respectively.