Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, climatologist, discusses buildings in Belgium: Solutions we know, but still frustrating

Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, a climate scientist from UCLouvain and a candidate for the presidency of the IPCC, was recently interviewed by RTL Info. The interview focused on the summary published by the IPCC on Monday, which highlighted the urgent need for radical action to ensure a livable future. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Van Ypersele emphasized that solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are well known, including improving insulation in buildings. He suggested that governments and financial systems should invest in these solutions, as they ultimately benefit citizens, society, and the climate.

The report also warned that half of the world’s population living in tropical regions is threatened by extreme heat waves, rising sea levels, and tropical diseases due to global warming. Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele stated that Belgium is not exempt from these issues and has already experienced severe flooding, droughts, and heat waves. The Belgian government is supporting Van Ypersele’s candidacy for the presidency of the IPCC, and the election will take place in July 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, climatologist at UCLouvain and candidate for the presidency of the IPCC was the guest of RTL Info 19h. The opportunity to return to the summary of the IPCC, a group of UN experts, published on Monday. The synthesis of nine years of IPCC work on the climate sounds Monday as a stark reminder of the need for humanity to finally act radically during this crucial decade to ensure “a livable future”.

If the observation may not seem encouraging, the experts of the IPCC point the finger at solutions concerning our greenhouse gas emissions in particular. “This is what is very frustrating, it is that we know the solutions”loose the climatologist. “We know that if we want to reduce emissions in buildings, for example, we have to insulate. We have to design buildings differently. We know it’s possible, but we don’t do it enough. If we did, This would lower the energy bills of all citizens, which can bring many co-benefits.


As for the cost of the insulation work, which can be considered significant, Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele recalls that it is an “investment.” “It costs money at the beginning and then it pays off. After a few years, savings are made on the fuels not consumed. It is necessary for the financial systems, for the governments, to help the citizens to make these investments. In the end, everyone will be a winner. Citizens, society and the climate.”

The report sounds like yet another cry of alarm from scientists. We learn in particular that half of the world’s population – who live in tropical regions – is threatened by “extreme heat waves, by rising sea levels, by tropical diseases more widespread by global warming. “
And Belgium is not spared if we refer to recent events according to Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele: “We saw that we could have terrible floods at home too. We saw last summer that ‘we could also have severe droughts and heat waves. No one is immune.

The Belgian government supports Jean-Pascal van Ypersele’s candidacy for the presidency of the IPCC, created in 1988 at the instigation of the United Nations. Professor van Ypersele (UCLouvain) had already been a candidate for the presidency of the body in 2015, but was then beaten, by 78 votes against 56, by the current president, the Korean Hoesung Lee. The election of the new IPCC president will take place from July 24 to 27, 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya.

In summary, the IPCC report published on Monday emphasizes the urgent need for humanity to act radically to ensure a livable future. However, the report also highlights that solutions exist, particularly in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing these solutions may require investments, but they are ultimately win-win for everyone, including the climate. We cannot afford to ignore the warning signs of climate change any longer, as recent events like floods, droughts, and heatwaves in Belgium have shown. Let’s hope that with the support of the Belgian government, Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele can become the next president of the IPCC and lead the global fight against climate change.

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