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Climate Change

Volume 541: debated on Thursday 8 March 2012

2. What assessment he has made of the procedures adopted by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its fifth assessment report. (98660)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently revised its procedures in response to an independent review by the InterAcademy Council. The revisions address the key recommendations of the review and put the IPCC in a stronger position to prepare its fifth assessment report, but there is absolutely no room for complacency.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his answer, which none the less remains complacent. When the InterAcademy Council reported, it proposed radical reforms that would

“fundamentally reform IPCC’s management structure while enhancing its ability to conduct an authoritative assessment”,

and criticised IPCC authors for reporting

“high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence.”

Most of the InterAcademy Council’s recommendations have been rejected, however. Why are the Government not pressing for them to be implemented?

My right hon. Friend will know that, as a result of the reform procedures, an executive committee has been formed and a new conflict of interest policy has been created. The communications strategy has also been elaborated on much more strongly. I accept that this is by no means perfect, but we now have much greater faith in the IPCC and we look forward to seeing its fifth report.