United Nations climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri, facing criticism for errors in a landmark report, has refused to quit, saying that he will remain with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change till the fifth report is produced in 2014.
"At the moment, my mandate is very very clear. I have to complete the fifth assessment and now I feel that I have an additional responsibility in seeing that the reforms are carried forward on the strength of the InterAcademy Council recommendations," Pachauri said.
"Till such time that I see anything different, I feel the task that I have begun is something that I can't walk away from," he said.
Pachauri was responding to queries on Monday about how he intended to implement several recommendations made by the InterAcademy Council, which conducted a review of the working of the IPCC following widespread criticism stemming from erroneous conclusions in its fourth report.
Following a review of the procedure and processes of the IPCC, the InterAcademy Council committee released a report on Monday, which urged 'fundamental changes' to the management of the IPCC.
These recommendations included cutting down the tenure of chair of the IPCC, which currently consists of two six-year terms.
The committee, however, stressed that its present conclusion was not based on media reports that had raised questions about Pachauri's earnings from his consultancies with carbon trading companies and calls by some groups that he should resign.
"An organisation like this needs to have its leadership constantly changed to increase the vitality here," said Harold Shapiro, chair of InterAcademy Council committee, adding that the suggestion was 'not in anyway connected to Pachauri or any other leader of the IPCC.'
Pachauri emphasised that the recommendations would have to be debated by the 194 governments of the IPCC at the upcoming meeting in Busan, South Korea in October.
"These will be debated by all the governments of the world and they would then decide what's to be implemented, when it is to be implemented," the scientist said.
"I am in no position to speculate on what that decision would be." "I have been elected to continue the fifth assessment process. But I am a servant of the IPCC and of course I shall decide abide by any decision that the ICC takes," he added.
The InterAcademy, founded in 2002, assembles leading scientists and engineers from all nations to provide peer-reviewed advice to international bodies.
The review of the IPCC's working method was set up in March following the discovery of exaggerated claims in the fourth report of the scientific body.
Image: Rajendra Pachauri