GWPF Calls On IPCC To Implement Fundamental Reforms Without Delay

  • Date: 30/08/10

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) broadly welcomes the recommendations by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) for fundamental reforms of the IPCC and its management structure.

This report is highly critical of the IPCC in a number of key respects. The GWPF has been critical of the IPCC on a number of occasions since our foundation last November, and published several critical papers and submissions. This Report shows our critique to be well founded.

The GWPF calls upon the IPCC to accept the key recommendations and implement them without delay. Otherwise there can be no confidence in the outcome of the current Fifth Assessment Report which is expected to be finalised by 2014, Lord Lawson said.

The GWPF welcomes the IAC’s recommendation that the chairmanship of the IPCC should be limited to the term of one assessment. “I interpret this recommendation as an indirect call on Dr Pachauri to step down. After all, he has already been presiding over one assessment,” Dr Benny Peiser, the director of the GWPF said.

We also support the IAC’s recommendation that future IPCC chairmen should have formal qualifications as well as undergone rigorous conflict-of-interest assessments.

The IAC has produced a fair-minded assessment of the IPCC, a welcome change to recent inquires into the Climategate affair which look manifestly imbalanced and unprofessional in comparison.

We welcome the IAC’s recommendation that “review editors should ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in the report and be satisfied that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views. Lead authors should explicitly document that the full range of thoughtful scientific views has been considered.”

We welcome the IAC recommendation that “Lead Authors should explicitly document that a range of scientific viewpoints has been considered, and Coordinating Lead Authors and Review Editors should satisfy themselves that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views.”

The IAC report states: “Equally important is combating confirmation bias‹the tendency of authors to place too much weight on their own views relative to other views. As pointed out to the Committee by a presenter and some questionnaire respondents, alternative views are not always cited in a chapter if the Lead Authors do not agree with them.” In other words, the report says they were biased.

The IAC report states: “Interviews and responses to the Committee’s questionnaire revealed a lack of transparency in several stages of the IPCC assessment process, including scoping and the selection of authors and reviewers, as well as in the selection of scientific and technical information considered in the chapters.”

We welcome the recommendations that the IPCC “should establish a formal set of criteria and processes for selecting Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors. Lead Authors should explicitly document that a range of scientific viewpoints has been considered, and Coordinating Lead Authors and Review Editors should satisfy themselves that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views.”

From these recommendations we conclude that IPCC has been narrow minded and did not take into account any other views than the ‘mainstream’ and that lead authors ignored views that did not tally with their own. It is time that the IPCC now undergoes fundamental reforms.