South Korea's Lee Hoesung to lead UN panel of climate scientists

OSLO (REUTERS) - Governments picked South Korea's Lee Hoesung on Tuesday to head the UN panel of climate scientists, which guides policies for combating global warming and won a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Lee, a professor of the economics of climate change, will succeed India's Rajendra Pachauri as chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the IPCC said after a vote at a meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Lee, 69, beat five rivals for the job, including Belgian scientist Jean-Pascal van Ypersele in a run-off vote, and will be chair for six to eight years to oversee a mammoth report on the risks of climate change.

South Korea's Lee Hoesung has been picked to head the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. PHOTO: EPA 

The last series of IPCC reports in 2013-14 raised the probability that human activities, led by the burning of fossil fuels, have caused at least 95 per cent of warming since 1950.

Lee, until now a vice-chair of the IPCC, will be the UN's top climate scientist when almost 200 nations meet in Paris in from Nov 30 to Dec 11, seeking to agree a new global deal to slow climate change.

Pachauri, who had been due to stand down at the meeting in Croatia after 13 years, quit early in February after a female researcher accused him of sexual harassment, a charge he denies.

The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with climate campaigner and former US Vice-President Al Gore.