India to 'pull out of IPCC'
India has threatened to pull out of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and set up its on climate change body because it "cannot rely" on the group headed by its own Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr R K Pachauri.
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Published: 3:47PM GMT 04 Feb 2010
The Indian government's move is a snub to both the IPCC and Dr Pachauri as he battles to defend his reputation following the revelation that his most recent climate change report included false claims that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. Scientists believe it could take more than 300 years for the glaciers to disappear.
The body and its chairman have faced growing criticism ever since as questions have been raised on the credibility of their work and the rigour with which climate change claims are assessed.
In India the false claims have heightened tensions between Dr Pachauri and the government, which had earlier questioned his claims. In Autumn, its environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, said that while glacial melting in the Himalayas was a real concern, there was evidence that some were actually advancing despite global warming.
Dr Pachauri had dismissed the government's claims as "voodoo science", but last night Mr Ramesh effectively marginalised the IPC chairman even further.
He announced that the Indian government will establish a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor the effects of climate change on the world's "third ice cap", and an "Indian IPCC" to use "climate science" to assess the impact of global warming throughout the country.
"There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report ... [the] IPCC doesn't do the original research which is one of the weaknesses ... they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks.
"I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)," he said.