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The chairman of the United Nations climate change body today came under renewed pressure to step down following the outcome of an inquiry into the working practices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The review, conducted by a committee of representatives from the world’s leading scientific bodies, recommends that the current term of the chairman be cut from 12 years to six and that a new chair should be appointed to bring a “fresh approach” to each assessment report.

Although the report stopped short of singling out Rajendra Pachauri for personal criticism, the Indian economist is likely to face calls to quit from the community.

Mr Pachauri took over as chair in 2002 and oversaw the Fourth Assessment Report on climate change, published in 2007, and represented the UN body at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony when the award was shared between Al Gore and the IPCC in 2007.

However, this year the IPCC has faced mounting pressure over errors in the last major assessment of climate science and Pachauri faced calls to resign following an admission that the IPCC made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

The findings of the review were handed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this afternoon.

In a press conference following the release of the report Mr Pachauri said that his position would be decided by the member governments of the IPCC. He told press gathered in New York:

“We’ve listened to and learnt from our critics. Now that the review has been carried out I believe I have a responsibility to I help to implement the changes. I see this as a mission that I cannot shirk or walk away from.

“It’s now up to the world’s governments to decide when they want to implement the recommendations and which ones they want to implement. Until then, I’ve been elected to continue the 5th assessment process. At the moment, my mandate is very, very clear. I have to continue the fifth assessment process.”

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