Dutch environment watchdog criticises IPCC

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RNW A Dutch environmental watchdog has criticised the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL has found another error in the last IPCC report, and also listed a number of omissions. The PBL was reviewing the IPCC's Working Group II report - part of the Climate Change 2007 report.   The review was set in motion by the Dutch parliament after mistakes came to light last year severely damaging the IPCC's credibility. The report was found to include mistakes on the speed that glaciers in the Himalayas would retreat, as well as on the amount of land in the Netherlands under sea level.   The Dutch agency's review found another mistake, this time involving how many people would suffer from a shortage of water in Africa by the year 2050.   However, the review found that the main conclusions of the 2007 report remain unchanged. Director Maarten Hajer says that some errors are inevitable in such a large report, and the errors that have been exposed do not affect the outcome.   However, the PBL review offers a number of recommendations on how the IPCC can avoid such problems in the future. Primarily, the IPCC should allow more transparency at nearly every stage in preparing its reports. Better quality control, including conducting reviews such as the PBL has done prior to publication, could only improve future reports.   Minister Tineke Huizinga, who received the first copy of the review, said she would personally convey its findings to the IPCC Chairman. The IPCC is conducting its own review of its processes, and Ms Huizinga hopes that the Dutch recommendations will be incorporated. Authors are already being assigned for the next IPCC report, due out in 2013.

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