More Politics and IPCC

January 26th, 2005

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Last October, when R. K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), wrote the forward to a report advocating specific policies on climate change I wrote,

“It is troubling that the Chair of the IPCC would lend his name and organizational affiliation to a set of groups with members engaged actively in political advocacy on climate change. Even if Dr. Pachauri feels strongly about the merit of the political agenda proposed by these groups, at a minimum his endorsement creates a potential perception that the IPCC has an unstated political agenda.”

Dr. Pachauri has once again lent his name, and that of the IPCC, to an advocacy effort on climate change. This time Dr. Pachauri is presented as the “scientific advisor” on a report released earlier this week by the International Climate Change Taskforce (ICCT). The report advocates a range of very specific policy actions on climate change – among them, limiting global carbon dioxide concentrations to 400 ppm, a requirement that G8 countries obtain 25% of their electrivity from renewables by 2025, the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, requiring Export Credit Agencies and Multilateral Development Banks to adopt minimum efficiency or carbon intensity standards for projects they support and building upon the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The ICCT was organized by a number of self-described progressive think tanks — the Institute for Public Policy Research in London, the Center for American Progress in Washington DC and The Australia Institute in Canberra.

According to the IPPC website the ITCC’s recommendations are, “aimed at all major governments in the international negotiations, with special emphasis on the United Kingdom (UK), which will hold the Presidencies of the G8 and the European Union in 2005.” Quite simply, there is a clear conflict in Dr. Pachauri seeking to act as an honest broker on climate science as chairman of the IPCC while simultaneously advocating a specific political position in the very process to which he is tasked to provide impartial guidance. The IPCC operates under a guideline that is to be “neutral with respect to policy.” I am unclear as to what this phrase actually means, but I am pretty sure that it is not consistent with overt political advocacy. As a 2001 news article in Nature reported, “The IPCC aims to provide information to policy-makers without endorsing specific policies. As such, it can only work if it is widely perceived to represent a highly credible and unbiased consensus.”

3 Responses to “More Politics and IPCC”

  1. Crumb Trail Says:

    Foes of Earth

    The shrillness of climate doom mongering is increasing in advance of a report from the International Climate Change Task Force expected tomorrow. See this press release from the FOEs. So far the EU is the only block of countries…

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  3. FuturePundit Says:

    Hockey Stick Climate Temperature Trend Theory Challenged

    A pair of Canadian researchers, University of Guelph Canada economist Ross McKitrick and Toronto-based mineral exploration consultant Stephen McIntyre, have a paper…

  4. 3
  5. Carolynn Says:


    Recently Dr. Tim Barnett went on record saying that said climate models/research based on air temperatures are weak because most of the evidence for global warming is not even there…

    I am a layman. But basically I’ve been told since Kyoto that if I didn’t believe in the climate models scientists were showing, that I was irrational.

    Now Dr. Barnett is pushing his model, saying the old model was wrong, but if I’m distrustful of his research I am irrational.

    Can’t scientists see the danger they are doing to science?