The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has given in to the rising clamour of doubts about the preparation of its climate science reports, and will set up an independent committee of experts to review its procedures and suggest changes, according to a statement from its chairman R.K. Pachauri.
The IPCC has faced a barrage of accusations in the last few weeks, after its claim that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 was debunked.
Other parts of its Fourth Assessment Report have also been questioned, and even supporters have raised concerns about the way the IPCC selects and vets the published material used to prepare its assessment reports.
These reports, with their summaries and recommendations for policy-makers, form the scientific basis that underpins and drives the United Nations climate change negotiations.
“It was decided that an independent committee of distinguished experts evaluate means by which IPCC procedures must be implemented fully and that they should also examine any changes in procedure that may be required,” said Dr. Pachauri’s statement.
The original proposal was sent to national governments on February 16 as the IPCC began preparing for its Fifth Assessment Report.
It has been thrashing out the details of the mechanism with the United Nations and government representatives over the past week at the 11th Session of the Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which just concluded in Bali on Friday. More details will be shared in early March, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the IPCC statement reiterated that it stands “firmly behind the rigour and robustness of the 4th Assessment Report’s conclusions.”