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Greg Barker, the UK’s minister of state for climate change, has endorsed the IPCC’s decision that reviewers of the draft Fifth Assessment report should be unable to see lead authors’ responses to their comments and critiques. This apparently would undermine the IPCC process. Reviewers are expected to work this out from the next drafts of the report.

The UK government’s rejection of transparency comes in the shape of written answers to questions posed by MP Chris Heaton-Harris:

Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy that the delegation to the 35th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in July 2012 should propose an amendment to the proposed revision to Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC to include all the lead authors’ responses to review comments in what will be made available to all reviewers on request during the review process.

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

The proposed revision to the IPCC Procedures, is to correct an error which occurred at 33rd Session of the IPCC, by re-insertion of the text

“All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process”.

The details are contained in document IPCC XXXV/Doc. 11, available on the website of the IPCC

http://www.ipcc.ch/

As all reviewers of the First Order Draft of an IPCC report have the opportunity to see how their comments have been addressed if they opt to review the Second Order Draft, the UK has no plans to propose an amendment to the above revision to Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC.

Barker has also made a strong defence of the secrecy principle.

Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy that the UK Government delegation to the 35th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in July 2012 should propose that the IPCC withdraw its confidentiality decision from its 33rd Session due to its fundamental principle that its assessment process is to be open and transparent.

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

The IPCC’s decision at its 33rd Session balanced its aims for an open and transparent scientific assessment process with the risk of undermining the process through premature public release of draft reports. I am content with that decision and we have no plans to propose that the IPCC should withdraw it.

As I’ve said before, AR5 is dead in the water. The IPCC has blown it.