Climate change skepticism may endanger world's poor, says Pachauri

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London, January 5 (ANI): Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has warned that allowing skepticism to delay international action on global warming would endanger the lives of the world's poorest people.

According to a report in the Guardian, Pachauri has said that climate change skepticism is likely to surge in 2010 and could exacerbate "hardship" for the planet's poorest people.

Climate skeptics gained media attention in the run up to the Copenhagen climate summit after alleging that hacked emails between senior climate scientists showed that an important temperature record was flawed - a charge rejected by governments and scientific bodies.

In Australia, skeptics within the party led to the ousting of the leader of the opposition over new climate laws.

Pachauri predicted this year would see further skepticism.

"Powerful vested interests are perhaps likely to get overactive in the coming months, and would perhaps do everything in their power to impede progress towards a binding agreement that is hoped for by the end of 2010 in Mexico City," he said.

"Those opposed to action on climate change are working overtime to see that they can stall action for as long as possible," he added.

"In the end, knowledge and science will undoubtedly triumph, but delay in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases would only lead to worse impacts of climate change and growing hardship for the most vulnerable regions in the world, which are also unfortunately some of the poorest communities on Earth," he explained.

Pachauri has singled out lobbyists in the US for attempting to delay America's climate legislation, which is crucial for a global deal but is currently stalled in the Senate.

"We are already witnessing extraordinary efforts by powerful lobbies, in the US and Australia in particular, which are opposed to the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"There is a strong alliance of ideologically driven right-wingers, who reject environmental legislation on principle, and lobbyists for some hydrocarbon companies, who place the short-term commercial interests of their clients ahead of the wider public interest," he added.

"Both have the common goal of delaying restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, and both use the tactics pioneered by the tobacco industry, hiding their true motivations behind inaccurate and misleading claims about uncertainties in the science," he added.

Pachauri called for greater activism and more campaigning to press governments into taking strong action on carbon emissions this year. (ANI)

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