Is it Time for New Leadership on International Climate Panel?

Is it time for Pachauri to step down?

Too many distractions put the IPCC on the defensive

It’s been almost a year since the conveniently-timed hacking of computers at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit on the eve of the COP15 climate conference ushered in what climate deniers breathlessly dubbed “climategate.”

Soon after came embarrassing reports of mistaken Himalayan glacier data allowed into the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with Dr. Rajendra Pachauri at the helm. Further public squabbling and questions (if ill-founded) over Pachauri’s business dealings and conflict of interest made him an easy target for the climate disinformation industry.

In the U.S. the mere mention of global warming met with derision as conservative congressman gleefully built snow forts in honor of Al Gore (in the dead of winter, of course). And now that the Democrats have given up control of the House of Representatives, many expect the newly minted Republican majority to all but outlaw global warming (as if they could).

It’s been a tough year for climate change action.

After a report from the InterAcademy council recommended changes in the “management structure” of the IPCC, pressure began to mount for Pachauri to resign and for the panel to seek new leadership. Many felt that a recent plenary meeting of the panel would be good time to push for his resignation in an effort to help restore credibility to the beleaguered IPCC.

Despite this mounting pressure for Pachauri to resign, no effort was made for his removal when the panel met last month. A recent article in Nature News ponders the question of whether the IPCC needs new leadership now to effectively carry out its mission.

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4 thoughts on “Is it Time for New Leadership on International Climate Panel?”

  1. personally, i think he has handled these faux scandals excellently. and think it would only create the impression of another faux scandal if they changed him out.

    there are always things global warming disinformers will focus on or just make up to try to deter us from acting to address climate change.

    i think Pachauri has done a good job not playing into the game & should stay in the role

  2. Harbinger,

    And for which organization is he working to “produce global legislation on taxing carbon dioxide emissions”?

    We can argue whether there is a conflict of interest on Pachauri’s part, but your premise is fundamentally flawed if you think the IPPCC is (or could) “legislate a global carbon tax” – that’s just silly. Though I’m sure you’ll beg to politely differ.

    In any case, my point is made. Thanks.

  3. “(if ill-founded)” Why ill-founded? The companies he advises, including his own institute Teri, and the Indian Carbon Exchange of which he is Chairman, benefit directly from his efforts to produce global legislation on taxing carbon dioxide emissions. What’s YOUR definition of conflict of interest?

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