India will back Pachauri irrespective of criticismAugust 31st, 2010 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Indian will back the UN’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Rajendra Pachauri irrespective of an independent review finding flaws in its structure and suggesting shortening the chair’s 12-year term limit, a senior official said Tuesday.
“The government will back Pachauri as IPCC chief,” said the official from the environment ministry.
An independent review panel from InterAcademy Council, appointed last March to assess how a few glaring errors - including a prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 - made it into the last such United Nations report released in 2007, had criticised the Indian chairman of the UN climate panel.
Pachauri Monday said he won’t quit unless asked by the full meeting of the 194-member panel in Korea in October.
The report said the 12-year limit for the chair of the IPCC was too long and should be shortened. It called for an overhaul of the panel’s management, including the creation of an executive committee that would include people from outside the IPCC.
It also recommended replacing the top eight officials responsible for producing the United Nations reports every seven years or so.
Regarding the errors that appeared in the IPCC reports, the review group’s report called for stronger enforcement of the panel’s scientific review procedures to minimise future mistakes.
The main writers involved in the report, it said, should not respond in writing to merely editorial remarks, but they should sit down with the editors to make sure that all scientific criticism is addressed and different point of view are reflected in the final report.
In the review process for the last report, for example, 90,000 comments were submitted. The sheer overwhelming number contributed to the fact that an offhand remark by a scientist in an interview about the Himalayan glaciers made it into the final report.
The panel did not try to reassess the science of the climate assessment itself saying the way the United Nations panel goes about its work has “been successful overall.”
Suggesting that the climate panel make predictions only when it has solid scientific evidence and avoid straying into policy advocacy, the review panel said: “Qualitative probabilities should be used to describe the probability of well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence.”
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