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Pachauri gets a thumbs-up from PM and world leaders
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Pachauri gets a thumbs-up from PM and world leaders by ET
NEW DELHI: Putting up a united front against climate sceptics, world leaders led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped up to pledge support to
the troubled chief of the UN climate panel, RK Pachauri. Mindful of the mistake in the IPCC report, the leaders from across the globe stressed that some errors in the report cannot shake the scientific evidence on the impact of global warming.

Indicating in unambiguous terms that India stood behind IPCC and its chairman, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India has full confidence in the IPCC process. "India has full confidence in the IPCC process and its leadership and will support it in every way that it can. The Energy Research Institute, TERI, has, under the able and farsighted leadership of Mr Pachauri earned well-deserved respect and international acclaim for its contributions to the global efforts in meeting the twin challenges of energy security and climate change," he said.

Pledging support to the IPCC chairman, Mr Singh stressed that criticism of some aspects of the IPCC doesn’t challenge the panel’s central findings. "Some aspects of the science that is reflected in the work of the IPCC have faced criticism. But this debate does not challenge the core projections of the IPCC about the impact of greenhouse gas accumulations on temperature, rainfall and sea-level rise," Mr Singh said addressing the inaugural session of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organised by TERI.

Leaders from both developing and developed countries stepped forward to endorse Mr Singh's statements on IPCC. "Those who took delight in chastising the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its prediction on melting of Himalayan glaciers by 2035 missed the point... we in Bhutan feel and see for ourselves the rapid change in the surroundings. It's not just about science, but one can experience the impact of global warming. The Gods appear to have deserted the snowy abode of the Himalayas," Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigme Thinley said.

Prime ministers of Norway, Greece and Finland unequivocally backed the IPCC report and its findings about the impact of global warming on glaciers and rising sea levels. "We do not want to give a false sense of hope to our people by telling them that climate change is not happening," said Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, a tiny Pacific nation comprising 32 atolls and one raised coral island.

Pitching for a legally binding agreement in Mexico, Finland Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said that regardless of the panel’s report the world must move together to combat global warming and efforts should be made to reach a legally binding agreement in tackling climate change when leaders meet in Mexico later this year.

The Delhi Summit, which is the first major meeting on climate change after the Copenhagen summit, builds on the realisation that climate change was a real problem and the science underlying it is robust. "Some of the recommendations have been subject to criticism. In principle, I welcome criticism. I congratulate RK Pachauri for taking steps to correct mistakes. But the main point of climate panel’s report remains unchanged. Polar ice is melting. Sea levels are rising and the globe is warming," said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

In a similar vein, Quebec Premier Jean Charest too came out strongly in defence of Mr Pachauri. "We fully subscribe to the work done by Pachauri and IPCC. We are affected by rapidly changing climate," he said.

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