Graduate is new Chair of UN Climate Change Panel

Dr Ismail El Gizouli
Pictured: Dr Ismail El Gizouli (Picture source: IPCC)

2 March 2015

Aston graduate Dr Ismail El Gizouli has been named as acting Chair of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).   

As head of the IPCC, the world’s leading authority on climate change, Dr El Gizouli, will play a key role in the review of global environmental issues. 

He will direct the IPCC in its independent review and assessment of the latest scientific, socio-economic and technical information to ensure that the public has a clear view and understanding of issues that relate directly to climate change. 

The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  IPCC Committees review the work of thousands of scientists from all over the world, synthesising this into a climate change ‘assessment report’ every five to seven years.

Dr El Gizouli takes charge of the organisation shortly after the publication of its latest report, which warns that climate change will cause ‘severe, widespread and irreversible impacts’ to people and the natural world unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia King, a member of the influential Committee on Climate Change and author of The King Review, said: “I think I speak for everyone at Aston when I say how delighted and proud we are to see one of our alumni in such a critical global role. To lead the IPCC is an amazing achievement. We wish Dr El Gizouli all the best in his challenging and hugely important new role.” 

Dr El Gizouli graduated from Aston with an MSc in Operations Research and Statistics, following a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Khartoum in Sudan. 

During his career to date he has held a variety of government positions in fields such as industry and energy planning, including Director of the National Energy Administration in the Sudan Ministry of Industry.  He was Vice-Chair of the IPCC before taking the Chair this week. He has published numerous papers and has contributed as Review Editor to IPCC reports. Dr El Gizouli succeeds the previous IPCC Chair Dr Rajendra K Pachauri. 


Notes to Editors 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.
The IPCC is a scientific body under the auspices of the United Nations (UN).

The King Review

 In 2007, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer commissioned Professor Dame Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, working with Lord Nicholas Stern, to undertake an independent review to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies which over the next 25 years could help to decarbonise road transport, particularly cars. The Review drew on expertise from across both industry, in the UK and internationally, and Government. It can be read here.