World Land Trust (WLT) welcomes the publication of proposed reforms for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). As a result of failings exposed within the IPCC, the Inter-Academy Council (IAC), an independent team of scientists, was appointed by the United Nations to conduct a thorough examination of the organisation. On 30th August 2010, this body reported its findings, and in so doing recommended a series of important reforms to the IPCC’s structure and processes.
WLT would urge that the implementation of the recommended changes be given the highest priority by the IPCC. The organisation has contributed enormously to the advancement of climate science, but is evidently in much need of reform if it is to be able to cope with the growing volume of academic literature published on climate change and related issues.
Failing to make the required changes and to demonstrate that the IPCC remains fit for purpose will undoubtedly hamper efforts to generate widespread support for action on climate change. Climate change is too serious a threat to mankind and to the Earth’s natural ecosystems to risk prolonged inactivity.
Background to the Inter-Academy Council Report
Over the past two decades the IPCC has established itself as the foremost international agency for reporting on climate change. The Assessment Reports periodically released by the organisation have helped inform governments and the wider society, and shape global thinking on this issue.
Unfortunately, a series of high-profile errors concerning the accuracy of certain information presented in the Panel’s landmark 2007 Fourth Assessment Report have emerged over the past year. These have exposed a number of serious flaws within the agency and notably in the evidentiary review process that is so fundamental to the compilation of its Reports.
The vast majority of data sets, gathered by research institutions throughout the world, point to the fact that the Earth’s climate is changing and that there is a definite anthropogenic influence to this. The errors made by the IPCC do nothing to alter these fundamentals, and yet they do serve to undermine the credibility of both the organisation itself, and climate science in general. Therefore, it was essential for the IAC to complete this review of the Panel.
The IAC’s review of the IPPC can be found on the IAC website.