Climate skeptics exploiting scandal: US envoy
The US pointman on climate change on Tuesday accused vested interests of exploiting recent scientific scandals, saying there was an overwhelming case for the world to take action.
Todd Stern, the US special envoy on climate issues, downplayed recent revelations about a landmark 2007 study by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that warned of dire consequences from global warming.
"What you do see sometimes is that people who have an agenda that is directed toward undermining action on climate change grab whatever tidbit they can find," Stern told reporters.
"What should not happen is that any individual mistakes, typos, whatever they might be, be taken to undermine the very fundamental record that exists from scientists all over the world and from observed data from all over the world that this is a quite serious and growing problem," he said.
The IPCC, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore, admitted in January it could not substantiate one assertion from its 2007 report -- that global warming could melt Himalayan glaciers by 2035.
Leaked emails from scientists also appeared to show attempts to hide doubts about some of the research.
Stern is leading the US side in negotiations to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations for wealthy nations to cut carbon emissions blamed for global warming run out at the end of 2012.
President Barack Obama sharply changed US policy when he took over in January 2009 by supporting action on climate change.
But many lawmakers from former president George W. Bush's Republican Party oppose a US proposal to force emissions cuts, arguing it will cost jobs and disputing Obama's assertions it will help start a new green economy.
(c) 2010 AFP