New Delhi: Stating that the IPCC will make efforts to ensure that its fifth assessment report carries no errors, its chairman R K Pachauri has ruled out stepping down even if the UN-constituted review committee finds faults in the procedures followed by the climate panel.
"Certainly not. But we will certainly implement any constructive recommendations that we get. As matter of fact, I would be responsible for implementing the recommendations.
How can I walk away from that," Pachauri said.
He was asked whether he would consider stepping down
if the UN-constituted Inter-Academic Council review was to
come to the conclusion that procedures have not been followed.
Accepting moral responsibility for the error in the
fourth assessment report which had claimed that the Himalayan
glaciers would melt by 2035, Pachauri said he also accepts the
responsibility placed on him by the world governments by
electing him as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IIPC).
"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 a TV news channel.
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 not 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 UN 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."
Pachauri said that the IPCC theoretically is not a UN
organisation. "Theoretically, as an organisation, we are not
responsible to the UN at all or the Secretary General of the
UN. But it is a body which was set up on account of and as a
result of UN General Assembly Resolution of 1988. We felt that
we should join hands with the UN Secretary General."
Refusing to comment on the reported statement of his
predecessor Bob Watson that the structure and the working of
the IPCC required changes, he said when he steps down in 2015,
he would not comment on the working of his successor.
The climate expert refuted claims that one of the
primary ideas behind setting up the review committee was to
ensure that he steps down before the next assembly of the IPCC
in Korea in October.
"Well, I don't know who says that, but let me tell you
that the terms of reference of that particular review
committee have been drafted by us in the IPCC. It has not been
drafted by somebody else.
"They only require the Inter-Academic Council to look
at the practice and procedures of the IPCC and whether there
has been any failure in following those procedures. Where does
my position come in that I don't understand," he said.
First Published: Monday, April 12, 2010, 00:37