IPCC chief R.K. Pachauri, who came in for sharp criticism after the climate change panel erred in its prediction on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, has said he will not step down even if a U.N.-constituted review committee finds fault with the procedures followed by it.
“Certainly not. But we will certainly implement any constructive recommendations that we get (from the U.N. committee). As matter of fact, I would be responsible for implementing the recommendations. How can I walk away from that?” Mr. Pachauri said.
He was asked whether he would consider stepping down if the U.N.-constituted Inter-Academic Council review was to come to the conclusion that proper procedures have not been followed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Accepting moral responsibility for the error in the fourth assessment report which had claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, Mr. Pachauri said he also accepts the responsibility placed on him by the world governments by electing him as IPCC Chairman.
“Well, I certainly accept moral responsibility. But I also accept the responsibility that all the governments of the world have placed on my shoulders, and that’s by essentially electing me as chairperson by acclamation,” he told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’.
Asked whether he was ‘determined’ to finish his term ending in 2015, he said he will not withdraw from the task assigned to him.
“I have a task, I have a mission to end the fifth assessment report and I am certainly not going to withdraw from that,” he said.
To a poser on whether it was a system failure, he maintained it was more of a “procedural failure” and said, “We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that the error in the fourth report is not there in the fifth report.”
“Absolutely”, was his reply to a question on whether one single failure was being ‘taken out of proportion’.
“Absolutely. One error does not dilute the findings of the IPCC that the glaciers are melting,” he said.
Asked whether he felt embarrassed by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon setting up a committee of top scientists to review IPCC, he said, “That is wrong.”
“Let me correct that. That is something that the IPCC has initiated. We wrote a letter to all the governments on February 16 saying that we would like to set up a review committee to look into our procedures and practices and then we joined hands with the Secretary General of the UN.
“You can look into the documentation, and the letter to the Inter-Academic Council has been jointly signed by Mr Ban Ki-moon and me. It is wrong to say that the Secretary General has ordered something.”