Chairman Dr. Pachauri under the scanner as review of IPCC workings opens

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Amsterdam (The Netherlands), May 14 (ANI): A review into the workings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is starting in Amsterdam.IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri will be the first person to appear before the panel when it begins on Friday, and is expected to outline the organization's rules and procedures.

Dr Pachauri is also under the scanner over some of his consultancy work, although an investigation in March by auditors KPMG cleared him of financial irregularities."Dr Pachauri is in a very difficult position, because some of the most vociferous critics of the IPCC hold him personally responsible for the panel's perceived failings," said Mr. Ward."Such critics are unlikely to be satisfied by anything other than Dr Pachauri's departure," he added.

According to the BBC, the review has been demanded by governments and commissioned by the UN, following allegations that the IPCC made a series of errors in its major 2007 report. The review was demanded during the February meeting of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) governing council. The IPCC has admitted to one error, concerning the melting date of Himalayan glaciers, but robustly rebuts the wider charge.

The review panel was set up by the Inter-Academy Council, which comprises bodies such as the UK's Royal Society.

"I've read many many comments about the IPCC and I've talked to people inside and outside the organization," said Robbert Dijkgraaf, co-chair of the Inter-Academy Council."They feel the issue of climate change is so important that it really needs robust scientific counsel. The IPCC has grown in importance and it's a very good time and a good opportunity to look at its management structure and its processes," he told BBC News.

Dr. Dijkgraaf said the panel would be looking to draw on different shades of opinion over the next few months.

The panel's costing of natural disasters has also come in for criticism

Ministers felt allegations about IPCC errors were undermining the body's reputation and with it the reputation of its conclusions, on which many governments have based their climate policies.

Subsequently, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the Inter-Academy Council to run the review.

The council is independent of the UN, and has the capacity to select from among the world's top academics.

Dr. Dijkgraaf suggested Dr. Pachauri's position was not an issue for the review, and pointed out that the IPCC had itself asked for an independent review.

The 12-strong review panel spans the physical and biological sciences and economics, and is drawn from the developed and developing worlds.

Its final recommendations will be presented to the IPCC in October, during a meeting aimed at finalizing structures and procedures for its next major evaluation of climate science and economics, due to conclude in 2013. (ANI)

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