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15 July 2024

UN panel head says glacier alarm a 'regrettable error'

Rajendra Pachauri speaks during a press conference in New Delhi. (AP)


The head of the United Nation's climate science panel said a doomsday prediction about the fate of Himalayan glaciers was "a regrettable error" but that he would not resign over the blunder.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the mistake arose from "established procedures not being diligently followed".

"I am not resigning from my post. There has been an error but we will ensure greater consistency in every [future] report," he said.

"I am not brushing anything under the carpet," Pachauri added.

Pachauri was referring to a forecast which featured in a benchmark 2007 report on global warming that the probability of glaciers in the Himalayas "disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high".

In the latest statement on what the media have dubbed "Climategate", Pachauri said the report's general conclusions that Himalayan glaciers were retreating due to global warming were "robust, appropriate, and entirely consistent with the underlying science". "The world is on the path of unsustainable development and we will have to change our lifestyle," he told reporters.

Asked about IPCC's credibility, Pachauri said: "Rational people see the larger picture."


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