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Climatic clarity

The IPCC summarises scientific knowledge; it doesn't recommend policy. Why are Dick Taverne and Nigel Lawson clouding the issue?

By Martin Parry   December 2005

Some of those who don’t like the message of Kyoto appear to be directing their arrows against the perceived messenger: the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). The strategy adopted by Dick Taverne and Nigel Lawson in recent issues of Prospect aims to undermine the policy of Kyoto by discrediting the IPCC science behind it. But the IPCC simply summarises current scientific knowledge about climate change; it specifically does not recommend policy.


It is simply wrong to suggest that the IPCC is responsible for the Kyoto protocol. Lawson says, “The IPCC story [is about]… increases in world temperature… the…

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