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Dr. Andrew Weaver, a climatologist from the University of Victoria, has announced he will run for the Green Party in the next provincial election.

Prominent climate scientist Andrew Weaver has announced he is seeking the nomination for the B.C. Green Party in a Victoria-area riding in the May 2013 provincial election.

Mr. Weaver, Canada research chair in climate modelling and analysis at the University of Victoria, is trying to become the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, now held by Ida Chong, the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

Ms. Chong has been the riding's MLA since 1996. In the 2009 election, she won with 46.6 per cent over her NDP rival, who had 44.4 per cent. The Greens came third with 8.9 per cent.

The news is a boost for the provincial Greens, who have no members in the B.C. legislature and have lately had a low profile, with about nine per cent support in recent polls.

Victoria-born Mr. Weaver, a member of the Nobel-Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said in a statement on Thursday that he hoped his candidacy would build some momentum for the Greens.

"By running for the Green Party in the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding, I have decided to do something I never thought I would do. But with a rudderless provincial government and the potential for a landslide NDP victory in the upcoming election, I felt now was the time to get engaged to ensure that the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability continue to be raised and discussed in the legislative assembly."

Green Leader Jane Sterk said she expected Mr. Weaver would be the first of several high-profile candidates for the party, but did not provide any additional details.