Inquiry recommends fundamental reform of the IPCC following climate change scandal

“Climate change is real”, stressed the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after an official inquiry recommended overhauling the way the panel makes its assessments.

The chairman also voiced hope that the review would strengthen the IPCC's efforts, as well as its public credibility. And he maintained that the overall conclusions of its assessments were not in doubt.

The independent experts were asked to assess the processes and procedures of the IPCC to reduce errors and the potential for bias in its recently criticised reviews of global climate change patterns.

“Overall, in our judgement, IPCC’s assessment process has been a success and serves society well”, said Harold Shapiro, Chair of the InterAcademy Council’s Committee to Review IPCC. The IPCC, he said, had raised public awareness of climate change and driven policy makers to consider how to respond.

The UN commissioned the review in March 2010 following the IPCC’s acknowledgement of errors in projecting the rate of the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers in its fourth climate assessment of 2007. A controversy arose after related e-mails were hacked and leaked.

“Science thrives on honest, well-reasoned debated,” Dr. Pachauri said. “And there has been a productive debate this year about how to further strengthen the IPCC’s work,”

Ban Ki-moon, the UN's Secretary-General, added that the fundamental science on climate change remains sound.