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World leaders support Pachauri

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Leaders from Bhutan, Norway and Finland, among other countries, today supported Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman R K Pachauri on the glacier melting issue and said the recent attacks on the IPCC and climate change by no means damaged the credibility of the institution or the science.

“Those who took delight in chastising IPCC for its mention of 2035 as a possible year by which all the Himalayan glaciers could disappear at the current rate of rise in temperature, missed the point. They take undue comfort in the imperfect, underdeveloped and sometimes, dishonest science of climate change,” said Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigmi Yoser Thinley, while addressing the tenth Delhi Sustainable Development Summit here today.

“I commend Dr Pachauri for taking any action to correct any mistakes that have been made. However- and I would like underline this- the recent criticism does not change the main conclusions of the international climate panel. The polar ice is melting, sea levels are rising and the globe is warming,” corroborated, Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said regardless of the panel's report, the world must move together to combat global warming and efforts should be made to reach a legally binding agreement in tackling climate change when leaders meet in Mexico later this year.

"We do not want to give a false sense of hope to our people by telling them that climate change is not happening," backed Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, a small Pacific nation comprising 32 atolls and one raised coral island.

The world leaders noted that the GDP-based economic models placed no limits on growth but there was a need to develop a truer understanding of wealth and well-being. For addressing climate change, along with working on a legally binding agreement, there was a need to set up an international regulatory authority. “We have wilfully deluded ourselves by misusing GDP, which was designed only to measure the volume of goods and services transacted in the market at a given time,” added Thinley.

On the Copenhagen summit, the leaders unanimously asked for increased public engagement and shaping of public opinion for better understanding of the Copenhagen outcome as it requires involvement of all stakeholders and it would not be sufficient to only rely on the government.

“Ambitions and expectations were higher but we did not achieve what we aimed. We did not achieve a legally binding document. But, for the first time world leaders agreed to the common goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius,” added Stoltenberg.

First Published: Sat, February 06 2010. 01:32 IST