UN climate change panel to establish independent body to examine procedures

1 March 2010

The head of the United Nations-backed panel tasked with preparing regular scientific reports on the impact of climate change has announced the establishment of an independent review body to ensure that its procedures for producing assessments are closely followed, amid growing attacks from global warming sceptics.

The measure comes after the disclosure that the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which confirmed that global warming is man-made, contained an error over the rate at which the Himalayan glaciers would melt.

“We stand firmly behind the rigour and robustness of the Fourth Assessment Report’s conclusions, and are encouraged by the support demonstrated recently by scientists and governments around the world,” said IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, in a press statement on Saturday.

Mr. Pachauri stressed that the key conclusions of the report are based on an “overwhelming body of evidence from thousands of peer-reviewed and independent scientific studies.”

Details of the proposed independent review will be made available in the coming weeks as the IPCC, which jointly received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, embarks on its Fifth Assessment Report slated for publication in 2014, said Mr. Pachauri.

“The IPCC strives to ensure that its procedures for use of published material in the preparation of its assessment reports are followed in all respects,” he added. “But we recognize the criticism that has been levelled at us and the need to respond.”

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