IPCC Did Good Work But Needs Fundamental Reforms, Review Concludes

IPCC report cover image

image: IPCC

Though the Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC has done good work in its past assessments of climate change science, an independent review of the way the organization operates says "fundamental reforms" are needed-- among those are shorter terms for the organization's chair and establishing an executive director to oversee operations and act as spokesperson. As BBC News reports, the review concluded that the current limit of two six-year terms for the IPCC chairman is too long, suggesting instead that both the IPCC chair and proposed executive director be limited to that of creating one assessment.

The current chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has served (unpaid) as chair since 2002.

Dr Harold Shapiro, who headed the review by the Inter-Academy Council, said, "Overall, in our judgement, the IPCC's assessment process has been a success and has served society well," but added that the proposed changes would help the organization deal more effectively with being under the "public microscope."

IPCC Needs Executive Committee, More Consistency in Reporting & Citation
Further changes suggested include: 1) establishing an executive committee made up from individuals outside of the IPCC and perhaps even outside the climate science community, so as to enhance the IPCC's credibility; 2) more consistency in how the different IPCC working groups characterize uncertainty in climate science; 3) on the use of so-called 'grey literature', the review said such work was appropriate to include in future assessment reports, but that the guidelines for inclusion are too vague.

Here's the full report: Climate Change Assessments, Review of the Processes & Procedures of the IPCC
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More on the IPCC:
Is the IPCC Assessment on Global Climate Change Wrong?
IPCC Chairman's Endorsement of 350ppm Goal a Big Boost in Fighting Climate Change: Bill McKibben
IPCC Chairman Cleared of Any Financial Misconduct, Again
IPCC 'Regrets' Himalayan Glacier Melting Statement in 2007 Report

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