Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Conflict-of-Interest at the IPCC

The report from the committee investigating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just been released. Get  your own copy here.

The report is 113 pages long, and will take time to digest. A quick look reveals that it acknowledges and address one of the biggest concerns expressed by critics of the IPCC – that this two-decades-old process has never had any conflict-of-interest guidelines.

Page 58 of the PDF (page 46 of the numbered, printed-out document) contains the following:

Recommendation: The IPCC should develop and adopt a rigorous conflict of interest policy that applies to all individuals directly involved in the preparation of IPCC reports, including senior IPCC leadership (IPCC Chair and Vice Chairs), authors with responsibilities for report content (i.e., Working Group Co-chairs, Coordinating Lead Authors, and Lead Authors), Review Editors, and technical staff directly involved in report preparation (e.g., staff of Technical Support Units and the IPCC Secretariat). [bold added]


Another recommendation strikes me as being of particular interest. It says that whomever fills the position of IPCC chair should do so for only one term. This places chairman Dr. Rajendra Pachauri – who has held this title since 2002 and has already overseen the production of the Fourth Assessment Report – in an awkward spot.

Will he be departing?

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