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UN to review controversial climate panel

NUSA DUA, Feb 26 (AFP) - The United Nations will review its Nobel prize-winning climate panel, whose credibility has been tarnished by errors in a key report on global warming, a spokesman said on Friday.

Calls have been mounting for a major overhaul at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose chairman Rajendra Pachauri has also come under fire for his stewardship of the body and alleged conflict of interest.

UN Environment Programme spokesman Nick Nuttall said at an international environmental meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that an independent body would be set up to "review and strengthen" the IPCC.

He said the review body would be appointed by independent scientists.

The IPCC, the world's top climate science panel, is made up of several thousand scientists tasked with vetting scientific knowledge on climate change and its impacts.

But its reputation was damaged by a warning in a major 2007 report that global warming could melt Himalayan glaciers by 2035, a claim that has been widely discredited and fuelled scepticism in some quarters about mankind's role in climate change.

Ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in December, the IPCC was also rocked by the leaking of emails between some of its scientists that, according to sceptics, showed data had been skewed to mask contradictions about the evidence for man-made global warming.

But in a message to the meeting in the Bali resort of Nusa Dua, UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for nations not to be swayed by the IPCC controversy.

"I urge you to reject the last ditch attempts by climate sceptics to derail your negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings on the IFCC Fourth Assessment Report," he said.

MySinchew 2010.02.26


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