Ban Defends IPCC Report, No Comment on Pachauri, Derides Comparisons
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 24 -- Three weeks after the UN told the Press that
not really for the Secretary-General to weigh in on this
specific report" of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, Ban Ki-moon pointedly
urged member states to "reject the
last-ditch attempts by climate skeptics to derail negotiations by
exaggerating shortcomings in the [IPCC] fourth assessment report."
wondered, if the UN saw no need to respond three weeks ago but now
belatedly steps into the ring, does this indicate the type of
desperation exhibited by the UN's hastily put together press
conference after Yvo de Boer announced his resignation?
Wednesday's UN noon briefing, three weeks after Inner City Press
asked for comment on the IPCC's misuse of NGO press releases as
science, it inquired into Ban's belated comment on the controversy,
and his characterization of all who critique errors in the report as
City Press asked asked how Ban's upbeat read out on Copenhagen
squared with his Timor L'este envoy Ameerah Haq's frank statement to
the Press that Copenhagen was a disappointment, reiterated February
23 at the UN Security Council stakeout.
spokesman Martin Nesirky was once again testy, chiding
you want to try to chip away between different people saying
different things at different times, you could do that pretty much
every day, and maybe you will... if you look at what might have been,
had there not been the level of movement that there was in
Copenhagen, then things would look even worse. Nobody has said that
this is precisely what everybody wanted. Many people -- Yvo de Boer,
Janos Pasztor -- who sat here right after the Copenhagen Conference
with Bob Orr and spelled out what the role of the United Nations had
been in getting to a good point, but that it was not good enough;
that more needed to be done. So, it’s very easy to try to push a
wedge between two different people."
diatribe, several correspondents asked Inner City Press in essence,
what is wrong with Nesirky? To compare two statements is basic
journalism. And to report on now-acknowledged errors in an inter
governmental body's scientific report is not necessarily "climate
skepticism" -- it is journalism. The UN does not seem to
UN's Ban flanked by Pachauri and
Pascoe: quiet on dictators, lashing out at climate change skeptics
asked, on February 3 and 24 and even before, for Ban's comments on
IPCC chair Pachauri's refusal to make financial disclosure about
income he receives from Deutsche Bank and others for advice related
to his IPCC job. Nesirky responded that "To come back to the
part of the question about business dealings and disclosure, this is
something that he himself, Mr. Pachauri has spoken about himself, and
I have no need to elaborate further on what he himself has said."
The person more and more widely accused of lacking transparency has
rejected the charges. What more could the head of the Organization
need to say? Perhaps, as on Himalaya Gate, Mr. Ban will comment in
three weeks. Watch this site.
beyond her refreshingly candid comments on Copenhagen as
disappointment, Ms. Haq also answered Inner City Press' questions
about an incident in which UN Police in Timor L'este were filmed
standing by at Timor L'este police beat up a protester. She said it
is under investigation, and that UNPOL has a duty to report. But
don't they also have a duty to protect civilians? We'll see.
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Ban Has No Comment on Himalayan Glacier Gaffe, Doesn't Rely on IPCC
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 3 -- With various ice research related scandals
opening up around UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's signature issue of climate change,
Inner City Press on Wednesday asked his spokesman Martin Nesirky for
Ban's views on the misleading of the public about the melting of
While Nesirky dodged the question, Ban's climate
change advisor later in the day told Inner City Press that Ban may
have something to say later on the topic. Meanwhile Doctor Pachauri,
with no guidance from Ban, it attacking those who question him,
refusing to answer questions or apologize. From the UN's
transcription of its February 3 noon briefing, video here:
Nesirky: Last question, Matthew.
City Press: There has been a lot of controversy around the finding of
the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) about the
Himalayan glaciers, and they have essentially back-tracked and said
that they apologized; it was unverified information. Mr. Pachauri
has said he won’t apologize. But, I wonder what, given the
importance of climate change and the IPCC to the Secretary-General’s
agenda, what does he make of this controversy and how can the IPCC
process be reformed to not create this kind of controversy on the
The Secretary-General is obviously aware of these reports and what’s
been happening in the last few days and weeks. But, you know,
ultimately it’s for the IPCC to address this. It’s for the IPCC
to talk about this, and they have talked about this in some detail.
They have said that they regret what happened, and reaffirming their
strong commitment to a high level of performance in their reporting
and so on. So, therefore, it’s not really for the
Secretary-General to weigh in on this specific report. There are many
reports, there are many other aspects to the work on climate change,
which is absolutely vital, as you’ve mentioned; it’s one of his
priorities. So, I think that the most important thing is to focus on
the road to Mexico and how you can improve the prospects for that
meeting and what needs to be done between now and then.
City Press: [inaudible] because… in the last 24 hours… Mr.
IPCC regrets, Matthew, IPCC regrets.
So, I mean, Mr. Pachauri says he wasn’t responsible for it. So, I
guess what I’m saying is, who is in charge of the agency on which
Ban Ki-moon rests his, you know, the case has been made by that
UN's Ban and Pachauri, no one responsible for Glacier-Gate, novel
No, no, Matthew, the Secretary-General does not rest his case purely
on the IPCC. There is an enormous body of evidence and information
out there from various different sources, not just from the IPCC,
however important that may be. And an error in one report does not
undermine the entire science that is clearly proven.
So who apologized
-- the IPCC's website? To have nothing to say about the various
scandals surrounding the IPCC and Pachauri seems strange. It's why
some say Ban is now shifted to rolling the dice on a trip to North
Korea -- our next story, forthcoming.
The UN's and Ban's climate unit under Janos Pasztor, which was told
there was no room for it in the UN's Temporary North Lawn Conference
Building where Ban has his office, is now looking at space in the
Alcoa Building on 48th Street, Inner City Press is told. For now,
they are left behind in the nearly empty UN skyscaper where asbestos
removal has already begun. Meanwhile, Pachauri has wished asbestos on
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