SMU’s Urban Climate Professor Winston Chow is the first Singaporean to be elected as Co-Chair for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

By the SMU Corporate Communications team

Singapore, 28 July 2023 – Singapore Management University (SMU) College of Integrative Studies (新加坡管理大学综合学科学院) Associate Professor Winston Chow (副教授周祥龙) has been successfully elected as Co-Chair for Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) Cycle Bureau.

He will be working with Professor Bart van den Hurk from the Netherlands as fellow Co-Chairs.

Associate Professor (A/P) Winston Chow is Singapore’s first elected member of the IPCC Bureau, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments to develop climate-related policies and contribute to global climate action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

A/P Chow says, “I’ve never shaken so many hands in my life before - but I guess it’s a testament to the strong faith many countries have in my capacity to lead this body in assessing global climate change impacts and adaptation over the next several years. I truly am humbled by the privilege of being elected to the IPCC Bureau, and I look forward to working closely with fellow IPCC experts to enhance knowledge leading to sustainable climate action.”

Working closely with Professor Jim Skea from the UK, the newly-elected Chair of the IPCC Bureau, A/P Chow will contribute actively to shaping the work of AR7, which will inform global climate action. The 34-member IPCC Bureau guides the IPCC on the scientific and technical aspects of its work, advises on management and strategic issues, and takes decisions on specific issues within its mandate.

An Associate Professor of Urban Climate and Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow at SMU, A/P Chow has a sustained track record of publishing research with a focus on urban climate change risk and vulnerability, and on urban climatology with a focus on heat island adaptation and mitigation. Since 2017, he has been a Principal Investigator for the multi-institute Cooling Singapore Initiative, which develops climate-resilient solutions to address the urban heat challenge in Singapore. He teaches courses on climate solutions and urban sustainability in SMU, and is also a sought-after speaker by members of business, government and communities who regard climate impacts and risk reduction as a priority.

“I’ve been fortunate to work on my climate research here in SMU, while educating our students on what can be done to enable climate solutions as they face a complex world after they graduate. I’m proud not just to represent Singapore in leading global climate discussions, but also representing the SMU vision of making an impact globally,” says A/P Chow.

A/P Chow’s election into the top UN climate body and continued research into robust climate adaptation solutions are aligned with SMU’s strategic priority of Sustainable Living. Together with Digital Transformation and Growth in Asia, Sustainable Living is one of SMU’s three strategic priorities in working  towards realising the University’s Vision 2025. Through focusing on sustainable living, SMU intends to serve as a thought leader and solution partner in managing environmental change, contributing to sustainable city living, furthering resource sustainability and enhancing quality of life.

Commenting on A/P Chow’s successful election into the IPCC Bureau, Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Ms Grace Fu said, “With his experience, I am confident that he will serve the IPCC well. A/P Chow will contribute towards a better understanding of the impact of climate change, and the continued development of resilient climate adaptation solutions. The IPCC’s work continues to guide the global community, especially developing countries, in our environmental response. In Singapore, we will also take reference from AR7’s findings in refining our #SGGreenPlan.”


Photo credits: MSE, Prof Bart van den Hurk.