October 14, 2010 / 12:17 PM / in 7 years

U.N. climate panel agrees reforms; Pachauri stays

SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The U.N. panel of climate scientists agreed on Thursday to push ahead with reforms after errors in a 2007 report and chairman Rajendra Pachauri rejected suggestions he should step down.

The panel said after an Oct. 11-14 meeting in Busan, South Korea, that it would tighten checks for errors and set up a “task force” to agree wider reforms by mid-2011 such as an overhaul of the panel’s management.

“Change and improvement are vital to the IPCC,” Pachauri told a telephone news conference.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under pressure after errors in its 2007 report, including a projection that Himalayan glaciers could all melt by 2035 -- centuries before the worst-case thaw.

The InterAcademy Council, grouping experts from national science academies, called on Aug. 30 for a fundamental reform of IPCC management and said that top leaders of the panel should serve only one term.

Pachauri, an Indian scientist, elected in 2002 and who is in his second six-year term, said the recommendation would only apply to future IPCC leaders after he steps down in 2014.

“I have every intention of staying right till I have completed the mission that I have accepted,” he said, referring to the completion of the IPCC’s next major climate change report in 2014.

(Reporting by David Fogarty and additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Oslo; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

For Reuters latest environment blogs, click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/

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