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Embattled U.N. Climate Chief Apologizes Again, Won't Resign

IPCC Head Rajendra Pachauri

U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) head Rajendra Pachauri looks on at a press conference in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

The outspoken chairman of the U.N.’s climate change body is to adopt a neutral advisory role and has agreed to stop making statements demanding new taxes and other radical policies on cutting emissions.

In an interview with the Times of London, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, apologized for his organization’s handling of complaints about errors in its report.

He also apologized for describing as “voodoo science” an Indian Government report which challenged the IPCC’s claims about the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers.

But Dr Pachauri, 70, rejected calls for his resignation and insisted he would remain as chairman until after publication of the IPCC’s next report in 2014.

He claimed he had the support of all the world’s governments and denied that, by remaining in post, he was undermining the IPCC’s chances of regaining credibility with the public.

“It is not correct to say there are people who don’t trust me,” he said.

He admitted it had been a mistake to give the impression, in many interviews, that he was advocating specific actions to cut emissions. Last year, he called for higher taxes on aviation and motoring, said people should eat less meat, and proposed that hotel rooms should have electricity meters to charge people extra for using air conditioning.

He said he would focus in future on presenting the science on climate change rather than advocating policies.

“I will try to clarify that I’m not prescribing anything as a solution. Maybe I should be more careful [in media interviews] in laying down certain riders. One learns from that and I’m learning.” 

Click here for more on this story from the Times of London.

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