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Africa is home to more than a billion people, but the latest set of scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had only the eight per cent of African authors, out of more than 830 authors and review editors from over 80 countries.
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, climatologist and science communicator, says that one priority should he be elected as the panel’s new chair next month will be to fix the geographical imbalance hampering climate science.
“It’s very important that the IPCC, being an international body, represents fully the different perspectives of the world,” he says in this audio interview. Van Ypersele admits the organisation will struggle to get its message across in countries where the urgency of climate change response may be outweighed by issues such as food scarcity or energy poverty.
However, he believes that climate science has an important role to play in the developing world and that the IPCC should improve its outreach in as many countries as possible ‘so its reports are not simply put on a shelf but really put to use.’