IPCC urged to reform structure

A UN climate change body, which has made calls for a world reduction in meat consumption, has been told by scientists to “fundamentally reform”.

An independent investigation by the Amsterdam-based InterAcademy Council (IAC) into the work of the UN-linked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recommended that it changes its management structure and strengthens its procedures to handle ever-larger and increasingly complex climate assessments.

An IAC investigation was requested by IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to recommend ways to strengthen the IPCC’s processes and procedures, following a series of controversies. This included admittance that it had exaggerated figures of the pace at which the Himalayan glaciers were melting, and accusations that it had gone beyond its mandate of being “policy-relevant, not policy-prescriptive”.

Former meat-eater-turned-vegetarian Pachauri made the headlines in September 2008, when he told The Observer newspaper that people could make their own contribution to tackling climate change by having a meat-free day once a week, describing it as “clearly the most attractive opportunity”.

The IAC wants the IPCC to increase transparency, after questions were raised on several possible conflicts of interest within the IPCC leadership.Investigation committee chairman Professor Harold T Shapiro said: “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does require an ability to adapt and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained.”

The IAC report is expected to be considered at the 32nd Plenary Session of the IPCC in Busan, South Korea, from 11-14 October.

>>Industry hits back at climate claims

>>Eat less meat, advises UN


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