The [Indian] government might have backed R K Pachauri, the beleaguered chairman of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but it has also sent a long and detailed advisory on how the panel could improve its operations.
The note is bound to be seen as a veiled criticism of the panel that has been under attack for producing sub-standard reports.
The UN secretary general had earlier set up an independent review of the working of IPCC after it came under attack for having exaggerated some of the possible impacts of climate change.
Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has written to the InterAcademy Council, the institution requested by the UNSG to carry out the evaluation and suggest substantive changes in the workings of IPCC, whose reports become the scientific basis for UN negotiations on the vexed issue.
While the government had backed Pachauri, who also heads The Energy and Resource Institute, there has always been disquiet in official circles about the process followed by the UN panel in churning out ‘assessment reports’. The government has now officially taken note of the internal criticism and asked for, besides other things, to put an end to the ‘inbreeding’ in IPCC with a single scientist or group of scientists hogging space in the document at the cost of alternate and sometimes contrasting science from authors with differing views.
In a note forwarded by the minister, the government has suggested that opportunity should be given to include contrary opinions on the conclusions that IPCC draws — pointing to the criticism the scientific panel often faces of blocking views that question the accuracy or certainty of their findings.