UN chief has no role in IPCC fix over Himalayan glacier

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 09:33

United Nations: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has no role to play in the present controversy engulfing IPCC`s report on climate change, the UN panel which is headed by R K Pachauri, an official said today.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report erroneously claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 on which the UN has relied very heavily in its effort to combat the climate crisis.

"The Secretary-General is obviously aware of these reports and what`s been happening in the last few days and weeks but ultimately it is for the IPCC to address this,"
his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky told journalists here.

"It is not really for the Secretary-General to weigh in on this specific report.

There are many reports that there are many other aspects to the work on climate change, which is absolutely vital so I think the most important thing to focus is on the
road to Mexico," he added.

The most recent accusation against the panel`s work is that its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, may have known before the Copenhagen summit that its assessment report had seriously exaggerated the rate of melting of the Himalayan glaciers.

The next big climate change conference will be held in Mexico, later this year. Nesirky also stated that Ban did not "rest his case purely on the IPCC. There is an enormous body of evidence and information out there from various different sources not just from the IPCC." An error is one report does not undermine the entire science that has is clearly proven," he stressed.

Responding to whether Ban would set up an independent investigative commission, his spokesperson, pointed out that the IPCC was an "inter-governmental" body.

"Do remember that the IPCC is an intergovernmental body?it is not a UN body. The IPCC`s website, however, describes itself as `the leading body for the assessment of
climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)."

A republican ranking member on the US committee on Science and Technology, Paul has sent a letter to Ban calling for an independent investigation into the IPCC.

"The totality of these events has unfortunately challenged the integrity and trust of the IPCC as a whole," Broun wrote.

"While the concept of the IPCC investigating itself without any independent overview was cause enough for concern, the clear disregard for the importance and magnitude of the implications at hand is baffling.

In 2007, the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with environmentalist Al Gore. Admitting that the credibility of the IPCC had been damaged, in an interview with the Guardian, Pachauri reiterated that he would not resign.
"You can`t expect me to be personally responsible for every word in a 3,000-page report," the scientists said.
"I don`t do too many populist things, that are why I`m so unpopular with a certain section of society," he added.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 09:33

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