The United Nations on Wednesday launched an independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has come under much criticism in the recent months.
The decision was announced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri in the wake of a report by the body which erroneously claimed that Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.
“... We need to ensure full transparency, accuracy and objectivity and minimise the potential of any error going forward. I have initiated in tandem with the head of the IPCC a comprehensive independent review of the IPCC’s procedures and processes,” Mr. Ban told reporters here.
“This review will be conducted by the InterAcademy Council... it will be done completely independent of the United Nations,” he said.
The InterAcademy Council (IAC) is a multinational organisation of science academies crated to produce reports on scientific, technological and health issues.
“The IAC is ready to take on the challenge of the review of the IPCC. Our goal will be to ensure nations around the world that they will receive sound scientific advice on climate science with which governments and citizens alike can make informed decisions,” IAC co-chair Robbert Dijkgraaf said.
The 2007 report of the IPCC erroneously claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. The error has also been attributed to a typographical error with the words 2035 appearing instead of 2350.
Since then, there have been several calls for inquiry into the work of the IPCC and the resignation of Dr. Pachauri, who refused to step down.
The present debacle was preceded by another controversy, referred to as Climategate, which surfaced at the same time as the Climate Change Conference kicked off at Copenhagen in December 2009.
Hackers gained access to the data of the climate research centre of the U.K.-based East Anglia University and leaked confidential data including thousands of e-mails and documents between British and U.S. scientists over the past ten years that have led to accusations that scientists amplified the nature and scope of the man made climate crisis.
“In recent months we have seen some criticism. We are receptive and sensitive to that and we are doing something about it,” Dr. Pachauri said.
“It was in this context that last month the IPCC informed the governments that we would like to carry review of our processes and procedures,” he said.