Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with other world leaders, defended the embattled Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its chairman R.K. Pachauri, in his inaugural speech at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit on Friday.
“India has full confidence in the IPCC process and its leadership and will support it in every way it can,” Dr. Singh said, to the applause of delegates.
Both Dr. Pachauri and the IPCC have recently come under criticism from many quarters, including the Ministry of Environment and Forests, for an error in the timeline of the melting Himalayan glaciers. There were demands too seeking Dr. Pachauri’s resignation.
“Some aspects of the science that is reflected in the work of the IPCC had faced criticism. But this debate does not challenge the core projections of the IPCC of the impact of greenhouse gas accumulations on temperature, rainfall and sea level rise,” Dr. Singh said.
Other world leaders at the summit also expressed their support to the IPCC. “Criticism is welcome, but it does not change the facts about global warming,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, echoing his counterparts from Greece, Finland, Kiribati and Slovenia.
“Those who took delight in chastising the IPCC for its prediction on the melting of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 missed the point,” said Jigme Yoser Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan. “We, in Bhutan, feel and see for ourselves the rapid change in the surroundings.”