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'Can't totally depend on IPCC, India to have own climate panel'

IANS  New Delhi, February 04, 2010
First Published: 18:55 IST(4/2/2010) | Last Updated: 23:08 IST(4/2/2010)

India would soon have its very own panel on climate change, union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced on Thursday and added that the country could not depend only on reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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"There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am all for climate science but not for climate evangelism. I think people misused the IPCC report," Ramesh told a news channel here.

Stressing that the IPCC's weakness was that it didn't do original research and derives assessments from published literature, the minister announced a climate change panel for India.

He said that IPCC has "had goof-ups on the glaciers, on the Amazon, on the snow peaks." However, he added that the IPCC with a network of 200 scientists worldwide was "a responsible body".

"I respect the IPCC. At the same time India is a large country... we can't depend only on IPCC. So we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment ... It's got 125 research institutions from across the country. We will have international collaborations. It's a kind of an Indian IPCC and not a rival to the IPCC. We will do our own assessment," Ramesh explained.

The first climate change assessment from this body would be brought out in November this year, he said.

The "four by four assessment" would look at four sectors -- agriculture, health, water and forests -- and four regions. These would be  Himalayan ecosystems, coastal areas, western ghats and the northeast.

"Through this we will demonstrate our commitment to climate science," Ramesh concluded.

Ramesh also commented on the IPCC erring report's claim that the Himalayan glaciers would retreat by 2035.

"The health of glaciers is a cause for serious concern. Most glaciers are melting.... they are retreating. Overall, one can say incontrovertibly that the debris on our glaciers is very high, the mass balance is very low, the snow balance is very low. We have to be very cautious about the future of the glaciers particularly because of water security," the minister said.

Ramesh announced the setting up of the National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology at Dehradun (Uttarakhand).

"This is going to start a series of programmes on measuring, monitoring, modelling on what is happening to our glaciers and also look at what is happening to them in the regional context with Pakistan, Nepal and others," he informed.


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