Stricter controls urged for the UN’s climate body


Editor:

“The UN’s climate science body needs stricter checks to prevent damage to the organisation’s credibility, an independent review has concluded.”

The IPCC never had any credibility. Does this sound credible?

“…we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination…. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts…. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology
lead Author of many IPCC reports

By Paul Rincon Science reporter, BBC News

The UN’s climate science body needs stricter checks to prevent damage to the organisation’s credibility, an independent review has concluded.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has faced mounting pressure over errors in its last major assessment of climate science in 2007.

The review said guidelines were needed to ensure IPCC leaders were not seen as advocating specific climate policies.

It also urges transparency and suggests changes to the management of the body.

The IPCC has admitted it made a mistake in its 2007 assessment in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. But it says this error did not change the broad picture of man-made climate change.

The review committee stressed that previous IPCC science assessments had been successful overall, but it said the body’s response to revelations of errors in its 2007 report had been “slow and inadequate”.

Critics have previously called on the IPCC’s chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, to resign. Responding to the report, Dr Pachauri said he wanted to stay to implement changes at the organisation.

He stressed that none of the reviews set up in the wake of recent climate controversies found flaws with the fundamental science of climate change.

In the past year, climate science and political negotiations aimed at dealing with global warming, such as the Copenhagen summit, have come under unprecedented scrutiny.

Dr Shapiro conceded that controversy over errors in climate science assessments had dented the credibility of the process.

BBC News

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