Friday, 5 February 2010

Greenpeace director tells IPCC boss Rajendra Pachauri to stand down over glacier claim

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is under increased pressure after the head of Greenpeace called for him to step down.

By Matthew MoorePublished: 7:45AM GMT 04 Feb 2010

Dr Pachauri has refused to apologise for an inaccurate claim published in an IPCC report that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.
The error has been seized upon by climate change sceptics as evidence that the case for man-made global warming is being exaggerated, and now Dr Pachauri's allies in the environmental movement have spoken out against his handling of the affair.

John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK, called on the Indian academic to be replaced to rebuild the "credibility" of the UN's climate change body.
“Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’," he told The Times.
"It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.
“The IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri [as chairman]? I don’t think so. We need someone held in high regard who has extremely good judgment and is seen by the global public as someone on their side.
“If we get a new person in with an open mind, prepared to fundamentally review how the IPCC works, we would regain confidence in the organisation.”
Earlier this week Dr Pachauri said a personal apology on the glacier mistake would be a "populist" step.
The 2035 claim originated in an article published in New Scientist magazine which even the author has admitted was based on "speculation" rather than formal research.