Leaked UN climate report slammed for citing WWF/Greenpeace

The UN has been rebuked for once again including the world of climate change lobby groups in lieu of hard science

by The Commentator on 24 January 2013 11:16


Following the embarrassing incident in 2007, when the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used a spurious claim by the climate campaigning organisation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the United Nations has been slammed yet again for including information from Greenpeace and WWF in a newly leaked climate report.

Critics have already blasted the draft report for combining studies by lobby groups like the WWF and Greenpeace alongside scientific research papers -- the same issue that led independent auditors to slam the U.N.'s last report.

In 2007, the IPCC relied upon statements made in a WWF article to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. The claim was based on nothing more than a remark made in a 1999 interview with New Scientist magazine.

Donna Laframboise, who leads the 'No Fracking Consensus' group, told Fox News: “You'd think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications.”

“The report currently includes, amongst its list of references, nine separate publications produced wholly or in part by the WWF,” Laframboise said.

A 2010 audit by a panel of scientists from around the world called for change, meaning less so-called "gray literature," and the IPCC at the time apologised for the error.

“In general, I don’t think reports by advocacy groups are credible,” said John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama.

But others argue that groups like the WWF do important research.

“If it's legit research, it's fine,” said Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Sometimes they're the only ones with relevant data for a certain topic, such as energy production.”

Laframboise says that WWF’s mission itself calls into question whether it can do objective science.

“On its website, the WWF invites people to join its ‘environmental campaigning community’ … It's therefore accurate to describe the WWF as an activist group,” she said.

The original Fox News article shows how groups like the WWF put pressure on the United Nations, specifically the IPCC, to cite their handbooks and other material.

The IPCC defended itself, claiming that review processes are open for anyone. Laframboise noted, "The IPCC sees nothing wrong with activist perspectives. That's what gives the game away. That's what tells us that what's going on at the IPCC is not science.”

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