Chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) R.K. Pachauri on Saturday ruled out his resignation in the wake of the controversy over the inclusion of unsubstantiated data in the Fourth Assessment Report, which said the Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, an error for which the IPCC had to express regret. He said he was elected by all countries in the world and had a task to complete.
“My job is to complete the Fifth Assessment Report. It is an unfortunate error, but this one error, which is regrettable, will no way detract us from finishing our job,” he said at a press conference here.
Admitting there were more mistakes in the section, Mr. Pachauri said the IPCC had expressed regret for that.
“In the future, the performance of every lead author will be under scrutiny. We will exercise a higher level of surveillance to ensure that such human errors do not creep into the fifth report,” he said.
Mr. Pachauri said no action could be taken against the lead authors as they were not IPCC employees.
“The Nobel Prize-winning IPCC’s credibility was established over the last 21 years and got strengthened as we accepted the mistake,” Mr. Pachauri said, asserting that its image would not be shaken by the incident.
He also ruled out a review of the remaining chapters of the Fourth Assessment report. “Our procedures are robust and solid. We only have to adhere to implementing the procedure. In this case, it was a failure on the part of the authors. We will be particular in avoiding slip-ups in the next report.”
Mr. Pachauri admitted that not much research was done on the Himalayan glaciers. “There should be a dedicated programme to monitor and measure these glaciers. The entire field of glacier dynamics need experts and India is short of such experts.”
Taking on climate sceptics, Mr. Pachauri said they were out to demolish the entire science of climate change.
“There are 1200 lobbyists in Washington DC paid by 770 companies to stop anything related to climate change policies proposed by the United States. An enormous amount of resources are in the sceptics’ hands because climate change is a threat to convenient profit,” he alleged.
The poorest regions of the world were the victims of climate change and those giving money to the sceptics were not concerned about these areas, he said.
On V.K. Raina’s report on the health of the Himalayan glaciers that challenged the IPCC claim, he said that if some Indian glaciologist found something, he could have informed him.
“I would have investigated it. The report made by Raina is broad and raises more questions on glacier melting and global warming. But it is not peer reviewed and there is hardly any citation in the report,” he said.