By Gift Briton

Dr. Cromwel Lukorito, a professional climate scientist at the University of Nairobi Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, is among the new vice chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II.

Other vice chairs in the Group include Fatima Denton (Gambia), Laura Gallardo (Chile), Carlos Mendez (Venezuela), Mark Howden (Australia), Raman Sukumar (India), Adelle Thomas (Bahamas) and Zinta Zommers (Latvia).

The Senior Lecturer ascended to the position following an election of the new IPCC Bureau in Nairobi, which took place from 25 to 28 July. He garnered more votes than his competitor, Sudan’s Hana Hamadala.

Dr. Lukorito during a previous conference

Dr. Lukorito has over 30 years of teaching and research experience with a strong history of transformative climate science research outputs for development in the area of agriculture, climate change and food systems.

The Working Group II of the IPCC deals with assessing the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change and options for adapting to it.

As the vice chair of working group II, Dr. Lukorito’s priorities will be to develop a database of climate scientists, engage with the wider scientific community to put in place a strong scientific research think tank and mobilize resources to support Africa’s scientists to publish their research outputs.

He is also expected to identify researchers in Africa who can work with Technical Support Units of Working Group II in the area of capacity building, research, and technology development and transfer to support resilience.

Dr. Lukorito has been serving as a lead government reviewer on matters adaptation, loss and damage under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) and IPCC processes.

He has also served as a faculty at the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) building capacity in the Climate Leadership, Diplomacy and Negotiations in Africa programme that has increased the capacity and network of policy makers in the continent to mainstream climate change in development planning.

According to the distinguished Scientist, with Africa being most vulnerable continent to and bears the highest brunt of the adverse effects of climate change, building resilience of human and natural systems to climate change is an urgent priority for Africa.

“As a member of the IPCC Bureau, key intervention areas that could enhance climate science research and adaptation on the continent will entail developing a catalogue of scientists from Africa’s universities and research institutions working on climate change science, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation interventions across disciplines,” he said in an interview with the University of Nairobi.

The elections marked the end of the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle and the beginning of the seventh assessment. More than 84 members were elected to the Bureau.

The purpose of the Bureau is to provide guidance to the Panel on the scientific and technical aspects of its work, to advise on related management and strategic issues, and to take decisions on specific issues within its mandate, in accordance with the Principles Governing IPCC Work.