Tue, March 23, 2010
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The InterAcademy Council (IAC), a multinational organization of the world's science academies, in its annual meeting in Amsterdam has unanimously agreed to conduct an independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) processes and procedures. The study comes at the invitation of the United Nations secretary-general and the chair of the IPCC, and will help guide the processes and procedures of the IPCC's fifth report and future assessments of climate science. The names of the review panel members will be announced in early April 2010.
The IAC has been asked to establish a review panel of experts from relevant fields to conduct the review and to present recommendations on possible revisions of IPCC practices and procedures. In addition, the review panel 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.
Founded in 2000, the IAC was created to mobilize top scientists and engineers around the world to provide evidence-based advice to international bodies such as the United Nations and World Bank -- including preparing expert, peer-reviewed studies upon request. The IAC Board is composed of the presidents of 15 academies of science and equivalent organizations -- representing Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the African Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) -- and representatives of the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) of scientific academies, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS), and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) of medical academies. The IAC Secretariat is hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam. The IAC Board has final approval authority over conducting and publishing IAC studies.
The IAC is currently led by two co-chairs, Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The IAC co-chairs will appoint members of the review panel after a vetting process to assure their expertise, balance of perspectives, and absence of conflicts of interest. They will be volunteers who serve pro bono; only their travel and meeting expenses will be paid. Participants in the review panel will not be under obligation to any government, the IPCC, or the United Nations. The IAC will receive financial support for its work from the United Nations. Because work on the Fifth Assessment of IPCC has already commenced, the IAC has been asked to deliver its review panel findings by Aug. 30, 2010.