Welcome Prof. Fatima Denton, new Co-Chair of the Earth Commission

Prof. Fatima Denton is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and holder of the Prince Claus Chair in Equity and Development at Utrecht University on Just Transitions. She brings deep expertise in research and policy development and natural resource management in the African region to the Commission in its second phase. Prof. Denton will take up the post in late January 2024 and co-lead the Commission with Prof. Johan Rockström.

Denton said. “I am honored to be joining the Earth Commission as it continues in its mission of science for society. It is a critical time. Many people across the world are already living in the Earth Systems Boundary danger zone. I particularly look forward to integrating insights from resilience scholarship as an antidote to fragility in our work going forward.”

Prof. Denton was a lead author for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and a Co-ordinating Lead Author for the Fifth and Sixth Reports. She contributed to two IPCC special reports – the report on climate change and land as a Coordinating Lead Author and as Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation. She is currently Vice Chair, working group II of the IPCC and as such plays a critical and strategic role in the IPCC bureau. 

Prior to joining UNU-INRA, Denton worked in senior leadership roles with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Climate Policy Centre and the Canada-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where she managed high-impact action oriented research initiatives, including a major climate change adaptation programme involving over 100 initiatives across 33 countries in Africa. She has served on numerous scientific committees and boards, including the Independent Scientific Committee of the CGIAR Climate Change and Food Security Programme, the Advisory Committee of Future Earth and UK-based International Institute on Environment and Development (IIED).

Dr. Wendy Broadgate, Executive Director of the Earth Commission is delighted to have recruited Prof. Fatima Denton to the helm of the Earth Commission, pointing to her exceptional skill set in the science to practice arena. 

Broadgate said “We are thrilled with Dr. Denton’s appointment as co-Chair of the Earth Commission. Her long standing work with the IPCC and science-policy expertise on just transformations and nature are of vital importance to our work. Her transdisciplinary leadership and solutions focus approach are additionally critical to the scientific ambitions of the Earth Commission in its next phase. Welcome, Prof. Denton.”

The second assessment of the Earth Commission, initiating in January 2024, will build on, update, and advance the safe and just Earth system boundaries from the Commission’s first canon of work. The primary focus will be scientific assessment and synthesis. A secondary aim of the Commission’s forward work is to stimulate research to advance key areas, including to develop knowledge around tipping points and the social dimensions, particularly justice, boundaries, translation, and transformation. 

Learn more

Latest news