The IAC review of IPCC was not independent!

Once I had discovered that IPCC was misled by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) on “Qualitative expression of confidence”! and Both IPCC and it´s reviewer, InterAcademy Council, messed up on “Quantified measures of uncertainty”! I must admit that I was a bit puzzled. How on earth could a scientific organization mess up on these things?

I started to wonder if there could be a relation between United Nations and InterAcademy Council. Or to put it differently, I felt that the idea that InterAcademy Council was in position to perform an independent review of United Nations climate panel IPCC deserved some scrutiny.

I should add that scrutiny is a very good thing within science – simply because: Ideas are corroborated by the scrutiny they have been exposed to and survived. If the idea does not survive the scrutiny that is a good thing too – simply because that is how we get rid of flawed ideas.

A few attempts to search for a connection between United Nations and InterAcademy Council bore no fruits, but I still felt that there was something fishy. A new search just recently led me to the annual reports for InterAcademy council at their website.

What I found is well summed up by InterAcademy Council in their report: Inventing a better future:

“…. The United Nations Secretary – General, Kofi Annan, has been a strong supporter of the InterAcademy Council and its mission. When the InterAcademy Council was established in May 2000 he sent the following message: ‘I welcome your initiative to create an InterAcademy Council for providing advisory studies and reports on issues of concern to the United Nations system and other international organizations’.”

I think the annual reports and the quotes I provide below will speak for themselves. However, I think it is fair to say that: The idea that InterAcademy Council was in position to perform an independent review of United Nations climate panel IPCC is flawed.

In addition to having failed on qualitative and quantitative expressions of uncertainty, being susceptible for noble cause corruption,  InterAcademy Council seem to have been heavily involved with United Nations and IPCC – both politically, economically, personally and otherwise.

Here are a few selected quotes from the annual reports:

The creation of InterAcademy Council had been requested in 1999 by the Secretary‐General of the United Nations in order to facilitate the best scientific input into global decision‐making.”

“It has been a privilege to have held that position for four years and to work with so many excellent people, driven not by personal ambition, but by the ideal of making this world a better place. – Albert Koers Interacademy Council Executive director

“… discussions took place between United Nations staff and InterAcademy Council Co-Chairs and staff regarding a special UN-IAC Partnership arrangement … “

 

“United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, graciously hosted a special U.N. Publication Launch for U.N. ambassadors, their staff, U.N. staff and the U.N. press corps. A better way to present the first two InterAcademy Council reports to the world is hardly imaginable.”

“… with strong support from United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, the InterAcademy Council Board decided in February 2005 to launch an in-depth study on how to achieve global transitions to an adequately affordable, sustainable, clean energy supply…”

“This InterAcademy Council study, entitled Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems, will be an important opportunity to provide scientific input to national and global decision-making. For example, the results are expected to influence (1) the implementation phase of the Kyoto Protocol, (2) the follow-up to the July 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit Communique on Climate Change … 

Preliminary Organizing Group. The IAC Co-Chairs appointed an Organizing Group consisting of Drs. José Goldemberg (Chair), Shem Arungu Olende, Li Jinghai, Rob Socolow, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Mohamed El-Ashry, Rajendra Pachauri, and Michael Phelps. This Organizing Group met in Amsterdam on 25-26 April 2005 and produced a brief report to the IAC Co-Chairs regarding the following aspects of the proposed study:
Scope and content of the study (conceptual framework),
Modality of study-associated workshops,
Composition of the study panel, and
Timeline and documentation of the study.”

“The InterAcademy Council (IAC) in 2007 published its most ambitious report to date, identifying a scientific consensus for directing global energy development. Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future”

“The IAC Co‐Chairs have received formal letters from Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐Moon and IPCC Chair Pachauri requesting IAC to review the IPCC. IAC is requested to conduct an independent review of the IPCC process and the procedures by which it prepares its assessments of climate change.”

 


Below you will find some more extensive quotes from the annual reports:

2001 IAC Report:

2. UN-IAC Partnership Arrangement
In a meeting on 19 October 2000 Bruce Alberts, in his capacity as IAC Co-Chairman, met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to discuss how the IAC might address critical issues for the United Nations … As a follow-up to this meeting discussions took place between UN staff and IAC Co-Chairs and staff regarding a special UN-IAC Partnership arrangement. Under the terms of the proposed arrangement the IAC would provide scientific consultation to the UN Secretariat; organize and implement expert advisory panels to produce reports and recommendations on scientific and technological issues; sponsor special briefings and seminars for the UN General Assembly, UN Secretariat and UN agency leadership; and provide expert review of relevant UN reports. It is expected that, subject to legal review, the partnership arrangement will be formalized in the near future.

3. Study on food security, food productivity and food safety
In the meeting with Bruce Alberts on 19 October 2000 (see also point 2) the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, suggested that the IAC conduct a study on food security in Africa… The Board decided that, in consultation with UN staff, a full prospectus should be developed, outlining scope, content and methodology of the study….  At a special advisory meeting at the United Nations held on 11 January 2002 where science for sustainability was discussed in a day-long meeting with the Secretary-General, it was publicly requested by Kofi Annan speaking to Bruce Alberts that the IAC should work with the Rockefeller Foundation to produce a list of recommendations for him within 12 months.

 

2002 IAC Report:

Preliminary observation

In 2002 the IAC entered a new phase in its development: from 26-28 January the panel for the study on “Promoting Worldwide Science and Technology Capacities” met for the first time and this signified the IAC making the transition from planning and preparation to action and implementation. In fact, this transition was not limited to the “S&T study” – the same was true for a second IAC study, requested by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, on the contribution of science and technology to improving agricultural productivity in Africa: in 2002 that study too moved from preparation to implementation. Until 2002 the IAC was in essence an idea and a plan in the minds of a select group of individuals – in 2002 the IAC came to life, taking its first – tentative, but real – steps towards advising decision-makers on the science and technology aspects of global issues and concerns.

2. Improving Agricultural Productivity in Africa
At its January 2002 annual meeting the IAC Board discussed an initial proposal to undertake a study on agricultural productivity and food security in Africa and it decided that a full proposal for such a study be developed. Subsequently, by letter of 7 March 2002 the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, requested the IAC to present to him, within a year, a “strategic plan for harnessing the best science and technology to produce a substantial increase in agricultural productivity in Africa”.

4. Symposia UN ambassadors
Following the success of a first symposium in October 2001 the IAC was again requested to organize two symposia for UN ambassadors: the first on the issue of “Genetically Modified Crops for Developing Nations,” the second on “The Interface between Energy and Climate Change.” The GMO symposium took place on 6 November 2002; speakers were Ms Daphne Preuss, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago; and Ms Jennifer Thomson, Professor of Microbiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa. The energy symposium took place on 3 December 2002; speakers were R. K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Director-General of the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), and Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Leader of Transitions to New Technologies Project, International Institute for Advanced Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria; and Convening Lead Author of the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Both symposia were chaired by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Additional symposia are being planned for 2003.

 

2003 IAC Report

Preliminary observation

On 19 December 2003 Bruce Alberts, IAC Co-Chair, met with Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to discuss the activities and plans of the IAC. At the end of that meeting the Secretary–General agreed to chair a special U.N. Ambassadors Symposium on the IAC S&T report in February 2004; to be briefed on the recommendations of the IAC study on African agriculture in March 2004; and to personally submit the final report of that study to African Heads of State in June 2004. Secretary-General Annan also pledged his support for the IAC plan to undertake a study on transitions to sustainable energy systems. The fact that the U.N. Secretary-General is willing to use his status and influence to promote the work of the IAC demonstrates that in 2003 the IAC took yet another important step: from preparation (2001), via implementation (2002) to impact (2003).

1. Promoting Worldwide Science and Technology Capacities

With a print run of about 5500 copies, the full report will be ready in mid-January. It will be presented to the IAC Board by the Panel Co-Chairs on 26 January 2004. On 5 February 2004 the report will be made public by presenting it to the U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at a special U.N.-organized “Presentation Launch” to be attended by U.N. ambassadors, their senior staff and the U.N. press corps.

5. Study on Unesco World Heritage Sites
After informal preparatory discussions, Francesco Bandarin, Director Unesco World Heritage Center, requested, in a letter of 16 September 2003, the IAC to undertake a study to evaluate the current utilization of world heritage natural and mixed sites for scientific research; to recommend new mechanisms for increased scientific participation in identifying new sites; to recommend ways to increase scientific rigour in monitoring sites; and to develop recommendations on engaging policy-makers to use scientific data in decision-making.

6. Symposia UN ambassadors
In 2003 no UN Ambassadors Symposia were organized. Presently, discussions are underway with U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on organizing a fourth Symposium in the Spring of 2004.

 

2004 IAC Report

Preliminary observation

In 2004 there were two days of special importance to the IAC: 5 February and 25 June. On the first day the IAC made public its first report ever, on S&T capacity building entitled Inventing a better future. A strategy for building worldwide capacities in science and technology. On the second day the IAC made public its second report entitled Realizing the promise and potential of African agriculture. Science and technology strategies for improving agricultural productivity and food security in Africa. On both occasions U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, graciously hosted a special U.N. Publication Launch for U.N. ambassadors, their staff, U.N. staff and the U.N. press corps. A better way to present the first two IAC reports to the world is hardly imaginable. To continue – and end – the string of mottos begun in my first Annual Report: in its four years of existence the IAC has moved from preparation (2001), via implementation (2002) and impact (2003) to success (2004).

1. Promoting Worldwide Science and Technology Capacities

With a print run of about 5500 copies, the full report was ready in mid-January 2004 and it was formally presented by panel Co-Chair Jacob Palis to the IAC Board on 26 January 2004. On 5 February 2004 the report was made public at U.N. Headquarters in New York and presented to U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, at a special U.N. Publication Launch attended by U.N. ambassadors, their staff, U.N. staff and the U.N. press corps. The meeting was chaired by Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of UNDP, who would later be appointed as the Secretary General’s Chief of Staff in January 2005. The U.N. issued special press releases, both before and after the meeting, while the IAC – with the help of some of its member academies – issued press releases in English, French and Spanish. On 13 February 2004 Science published a special Editorial by Mr. Annan, entitled Science for All Nations, in which Mr. Annan expressed his strong support for the IAC report.

 

5. Study on UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The prospectus for a study on re-vitalizing the role of science in the selection and management of UNESCO World Heritage sites, natural and mixed, was approved by the Board in its January 2004 meeting. It was agreed that UNESCO itself would be in charge of securing the funding for the study, estimated to fall in the range of USD 750.000 to USD 1.000.000.

During the year several consultations took place between UNESCO and IAC staff on progress with fundraising. As UNESCO had decided to make the IAC study the first part of a larger project, also including the implementation of the study’s recommendations, UNESCO was seeking a total amount of USD 5.000.000.

On 12 July the IAC Co-Chairs wrote to the IAP Co-Chairs requesting them, in accordance with the agreed procedure, to announce the study to the IAP member academies and to request these academies to nominate candidates for the study panel. In early October 2004, about fifty nominations had been received from the IAP member academies. As soon as the IAC receives word from UNESCO that funding has been arranged, the IAC Co-Chairs intend to appoint a small core group to assist them in selecting the full panel.

6. Symposia U.N. ambassadors

In view of the two events on 5 February and 25 June 2004 to launch the IAC studies on S&T capacity building and African agriculture, there have been no special IAC Symposia for U.N. ambassadors in 2004. Except for the presence of the U.N. press corps, the 5 February and the 25 June events were very similar in purpose and participation to the U.N. Symposia organized by the IAC in 2002 and 2003,

Essentially, 2004 marks the end of the IAC’s formative years. The IAC has now successfully completed two studies and these studies have been well received worldwide. Also, two new studies are underway – Women for Science and Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems – while the UNESCO World Heritage study is likely to start in the spring of 2005. Also, as an organization the IAC now has a new Board, a new Executive Director, a new Director of Studies, new Bylaws and Rules of Procedure and, hopefully in the near future, new Co-Chairs. All in all, not bad for a four year period.

If I may end with a personal note: this will be my last Annual Report as I will hand over the Executive Directorship to John Campbell on 1 May 2005. The accomplishments of the IAC in “my” four years have really exceeded my hopes and expectations when I accepted the Executive Directorship in January 2001. It has been a privilege to have held that position for four years and to work with so many excellent people, driven not by personal ambition, but by the ideal of making this world a better place.

I look forward to my new role as IAC General Counsel and to the continuation of my involvement with the IAC in a different role.

Albert Koers
IAC Executive Director
14 January 2005

 

2005 IAC Report

During 2005, the InterAcademy Council (IAC) continued to build upon its success in providing high-quality advisory reports on critical global issues, while at the same time renewing its internal organization for expanding the scope of its activities. In this year, the IAC and its partner organizations committed themselves to work together to help solve the great international challenges of our time.

Two important new studies were launched by IAC during 2005: Women for Science to be completed in 2006, and Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems to be completed in 2007. Following the successful publication of its first two reports in 2004,* the IAC also undertook follow-up activities designed to implement the recommendations and action agendas of these reports.

In 2005 the IAC began a process of renewal and organization for undertaking a more ambitious array of projects in the years ahead. The IAC reconstituted the membership of the IAC Board, appointed new IAC Board Co-Chairs, adopted revised Bylaws and Rules of Procedure, and reconstituted the IAC Secretariat. It has also updated its financial management system to facilitate greater accountability and more diversified funding sources; and created a new IAC Website as a tool for providing more effective information dissemination and more efficient management of multiple IAC studies and activities.

Building upon all these accomplishments, the challenges in 2006 are to identify which critical global issues the IAC should address going forward and to secure the required human and financial resources for mobilizing the world’s best scientists, engineers, and medical experts to provide relevant knowledge and advice to national governments and international organizations.

2. New IAC Study: Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems

At the request of the Governments of China and Brazil, and with strong support from United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, the IAC Board decided in February 2005 to launch an in-depth study on how to achieve global transitions to an adequately affordable, sustainable, clean energy supply. This IAC study, entitled Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems, will be an important opportunity to provide scientific input to national and global decision-making. For example, the results are expected to influence (1) the implementation phase of the Kyoto Protocol, (2) the follow-up to the July 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit Communique on Climate Change, and (3) the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate among Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.

5. Statement to the UN General Assembly

During the summer 2005, the InterAcademy Council took the lead in developing a joint statement from the leadership of international scientific, engineering, and medical organizations to the Heads of State and Government, meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005. The joint statement calls upon them to strengthen worldwide capacities in science, technology, and innovation.

This unprecedented joint statement to the United Nations General Assembly urges stronger capacities in science and technology to allow humanity to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. In September 2000, 147 heads of State and Government committed themselves by year 2015 to reduce significantly global poverty and the related problems of illiteracy, hunger, discrimination against women, unsafe drinking water, and degraded environments and ecosystems.

In January 2000, scientific leaders from fifteen nations gathered together in Davos, Switzerland, to launch the idea of the InterAcademy Council. I recall the enthusiastic camaraderie of that gathering. The spirit of that historic meeting continues today. The IAC and its many partner organizations encompass a large international community of extraordinary individuals working together to make a difference for the world. In the years ahead, I very much look forward to working with the IAC Board and study panel members, as well as with the many friends and colleagues representing national and international scientific, engineering, and health organizations. Together, we can further advance the goals of IAC as first envisioned six years ago in snowy Davos.

John P. Campbell
IAC Executive Director
15 January 2006

 

 

2006 IAC Report

During the past year, we have seen the emergence of greater involvement of academies in the work of the InterAcademy Council. This trend has enriched the mission of IAC to develop reports on scientific, technological, and health issues related to the greater global challenges of our time, providing knowledge and advice to national governments and international organizations. This trend will also have profound implications for the way IAC conducts and manages its studies and programs in the future. This emergence of academy involvement is the theme of this year’s Annual Report of the IAC Executive Director.

2. Academies Provide Input to IAC Study on Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems

How can we provide universal access to affordable, modern power?
What is the most efficient way to address environmental costs?
How can we establish energy security?

Preliminary Organizing Group.

The IAC Co-Chairs appointed an Organizing Group consisting of Drs. José Goldemberg (Chair), Shem Arungu Olende, Li Jinghai, Rob Socolow, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Mohamed El-Ashry, Rajendra Pachauri, and Michael Phelps. This Organizing Group met in Amsterdam on 25-26 April 2005 and produced a brief report to the IAC Co-Chairs regarding the following aspects of the proposed study:

Scope and content of the study (conceptual framework),
Modality of study-associated workshops,
Composition of the study panel, and
Timeline and documentation of the study.

Commissioned Papers. The Organizing Group advised the IAC to commission a total of 19 papers on various topics considered important for the study, as “intellectual start capital” for the Study Panel. This advice has been carried out; 16 papers have been received and used as background/discussion material in workshops.

Study Panel. Taking into consideration nominations from science and engineering academies and advice from the Organizing Group, the IAC Board formally approved in September 2005 a slate of candidates. Fifteen persons were subsequently appointed to the Study Panel:

Two Study Panel Co-Chairs:

Steven Chu (USA), Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology University of California, Berkeley
José Goldemberg (Brazil), Professor of the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Thirteen Study Panel Members:

Ged Davis (UK), Managing Director, World Economic Forum
Shem Arungu Olende (Kenya), Secretary-General, African Academy of Sciences & Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Quecosult Ltd.
Mohamed El-Ashry (Egypt), Senior Fellow, UN Foundation
Thomas Johansson (Sweden), Professor of Energy Systems Analysis and Director of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at the University of Lund, Sweden
David Keith (Canada), Professor and Canada Research Chair of Energy and the Environment at the University of Calgary, Canada
Li Jinghai (China), Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Nebosja Nakicenovic (Austria), Professor of Energy Economics at Vienna University of Technology & Leader of Energy and Technology Programs at IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)
Rajendra Pachauri (India), Director-General, The Energy & Resources Institute & Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Majid Shafie-Pour (Iran), Professor and Board member of the Faculty of Environment of the University of Tehran
Evald Shpilrain (Russia), Head of the Department of Energy and Energy Technology at the Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Robert Socolow (USA), Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University
Kenji Yamaji (Japan), Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Member of Science Council of Japan, Vice-Chair of IIASA Council, Chairman of the Green Power Certification Council of Japan
Yan Luguang (China), Chairman of the Scientific Committee of Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Honorary President of Ningbo University

The work of the Study Panel is assisted by Jos van Renswoude, Study Director; Dilip Ahuja, Professor, Indian National Institute of Advanced Studies, as Special Advisor to the Study Panel; and Marika Tatsutani, writer and editor.

 

2007 IAC Report

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) in 2007 published its most ambitious report to date, identifying a scientific consensus for directing global energy development. Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future lays out a science, technology, and policy roadmap for developing energy resources to drive economic growth in both developing and industrialized countries while also securing climate protection and global development goals.

A. A Sustainable Energy Future
As a crucial next step following the release of the October 2007 IAC report Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future, it is proposed that a series of regional conferences of scientists and technologists be convened during 2008 by multinational associations of scientific and technological academies in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The purpose of these conferences will be (1) to develop a common agenda among scientific organizations for ongoing engagement in issues related to the needed transitions to sustainable energy resources and utilization and (2) to promote an action agenda by individual scientific organizations for engaging their own memberships and governments in efforts for achieving a sustainable energy future.

The 2007 Report Launch. On 22 October, 2007, the InterAcademy Council released Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future. This report was commissioned by the Governments of Brazil and China. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was briefed and presented the report by Study Co-Chair Steven Chu on 11 October in Beijing.

Funding. Financial contributions for this study and report publication were gratefully received from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Government of Brazil, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Energy Foundation.

 

 

 

2008 IAC Report Web version:

2008 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE IAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

In 2008 the InterAcademy Council began a process of renewal and organization for undertaking a more ambitious array of projects in the years ahead. The IAC reconstituted the membership of the IAC Board for 2009-2013, revised Bylaws, and adopted an agreement with the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) for a wide ranging set of cooperative goals. Building upon past accomplishments, the challenges in 2009 are to identify which critical global issues the IAC should address going forward; to secure the required human and financial resources for mobilizing the world’s best scientists, engineers, and medical experts; and to engage more fully government and industrial decisionmakers, the scientific and technological community, and the general public.

A. Follow-up to IAC Energy Report

On 22 October, 2007, the InterAcademy Council released Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future…..

As a crucial next step following the release of Lighting the Way, a series of regional workshops of scientists and technologists began during 2008 by multinational associations of scientific and technological academies in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The purpose of these conferences are (1) to develop a common agenda among scientific organizations for ongoing engagement in issues related to the needed transitions to sustainable energy resources and utilization and (2) to promote an action agenda by individual scientific organizations for engaging their own memberships and governments in efforts for achieving a sustainable energy future.

THE IAC SECRETARIAT

… John P. Campbell continues to serve as IAC Executive Director. He assumed this position in May 2005 and re-located to Amsterdam from Washington, DC, where he had been a staff officer at the U.S. National Academies. Paulo de Goes serves as IAC Associate Director. Albert Koers, former IAC Executive Director, continues as IAC General Counsel.

 

2009 IAC Report pdf version :

2009 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE IAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the InterAcademy Council. In May 2000, the scientific academies of the world, meeting in Tokyo, together decided to create the IAC as a means to advise international organizations and national governments on global issues of concern. The creation of IAC had been requested in 1999 by the Secretary‐General of the United Nations in order to facilitate the best scientific input into global decision‐making. In 2010, the advisory mission of the IAC will have perhaps its most ambitious challenge to date with a formal request from the Secretary‐General of the United Nations to review the procedures and processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In addition the IAC will launch significant new projects addressing key global challenges. In 2009 the IAC reconstituted the membership of the IAC Board for 2009‐2013, revised its Bylaws, and worked with the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) on a wide‐ranging set of cooperative goals. Building upon these accomplishments, the objectives for 2010 are to engage more fully government and industrial decision‐makers, the scientific and technological community, and the general public; and to secure the required human and financial resources for mobilizing the world’s best scientists, engineers, and medical experts.

IAC PROGRAMS

A. United Nations Request to Review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

United Nations Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐Moon announced on 10 March 2010 that the InterAcademy Council is requested by the United Nations to undertake a review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IAC Co‐Chair Robbert Dijkgraaf met with Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachuri at UN headquarters in New York on 10 March to discuss this request, then held a press conference to make a statement and to answer questions about the IAC from the news media.

The IAC Co‐Chairs have received formal letters from Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐Moon and IPCC Chair Pachauri requesting IAC to review the IPCC. IAC is requested to conduct an independent review of the IPCC process and the procedures by which it prepares its assessments of climate change. IAC is asked to establish a panel of experts from relevant fields to conduct the review and to present recommendations on possible revisions of IPCC procedures. In addition, the IAC panel of experts is asked to recommend measures and actions to strengthen the IPCC’s capacity to respond to future challenges and ensure the ongoing quality of its reports. A final report is requested by 31 August 2010 in order for IAC recommendations to be available for the October meeting of IPCC to launch the 5th IPCC Assessment process.

 

2010 IAC Report

2010 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE IAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

On 29 November 2010, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change informed the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Cancun, Mexico, of the contribution of the 2010 InterAcademy Council review of the IPCC. This included implementation of IAC recommendations for improving IPCC transparency, use of non-peer-reviewed literature, characterization of scientific uncertainty, and public communications; as well as establishment of ad hoc committees to prepare proposals for changing organization and management of IPCC (derived from IAC recommendations) for adoption at IPCC Plenary, May 2011.

Building upon these accomplishments, the IAC objectives for 2011 are to engage more fully government and industrial decision-makers, the scientific and technological community, and the general public; and to secure the required human and financial resources for mobilizing the world’s best scientists, engineers, and medical experts. Planning has now begun regarding future contributions of the world’s academies for policy analyses and formulation for addressing issues of global sustainability.

THE IAC SECRETARIAT

John P. Campbell continues to serve as IAC Executive Director. He assumed this position in May 2005 and re-located to Amsterdam from Washington, DC, where he had been a staff officer at the U.S. National Academies. Paulo de Goes serves as IAC Associate Director. Albert Koers, former IAC Executive Director, continued as IAC General Counsel until Summer 2010.

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2 thoughts on “The IAC review of IPCC was not independent!

  1. SoF, thank you for this extensive history of (yet another!) UN inspired creation.

    To be honest, I cannot say that I was particularly surprised to learn of the early involvement of Kofi Annan, Ban ki-Moon or the pompous Mr. Wriggle (aka Rajendra K. Pachauri).

    While the IAC’s review of the IPCC was far from perfect, in my view it was a major step up from anything we’ve seen before or since from the IPCC (and/or any of the many tentacles and offspring of the UNEP)

    The IAC report indicated that the authors did pay attention to and acknowledged (at least some** of) the 400 solicited replies they received from various interested parties.

    However, the end result was that notwithstanding Pachauri’s porkies to the contrary, for all intents and purposes – with the notable exception of considerably increased PR (and quite possibly the “revolutionary” move by the IPCC in issuing full Working Group reports virtually simultaneously with each WG’s Summary for Policymakers – it’s been IPCC/UNEP/WMO/UNFCCC “business as usual”.

    ** See the saga of my attempts to persuade the IAC to release that which they wrongly claimed to have published with the release of the report at the end of August 2010. Took them until December of that year to actually release 232 of the 400 plus responses to the IAC’s questionnaire:

    Soon … and sounds of silence from the InterAcademy Council

    Breaking News: InterAcademy Council publishes compilation of questionnaire responses

    InterAcademy Council did not investigate …

    To the best of my knowledge, Canada’s Dr. Harold Shapiro, who chaired this particular IAC committee, but who – for whatever reason, also declined to respond directly to my query – has never been part of the incestuous (sorry, it’s the only word that comes to mind!) inner circle.

    In my view, the IAC did hand the IPCC a lifeline. But, as the intervening years have shown, the powers that be at the IPCC chose not to grasp it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for your insightful comment. There are many aspects to consider about that review.

      It occurs to me that whenever the executive directors in my company mess up on ethics – all employees have to take a mandatory course on ethics – and then, within a while, executive directors mess up again.
      Probably not a law of nature – but still -.

      Your comment inspired me to dig further – it may take a while – we will see where it leads me. 🙂

      Like

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