IPCC Issues Statement on Election Procedures, Non-Peer Reviewed Literature

IPCC24 June 2012: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Secretariat issued a statement in response to an article published online by New Scientist, which critiqued recent decisions on election procedures and data sources.

In the statement, the IPCC clarifies the election and appointment procedures for its report authors and elected officials of its Bureau, and outlines its rules governing the use of literature in its assessment reports, including non-peer reviewed sources.

The statement stresses that the IPCC does not impose geographical or gender quotas on the scientific experts who work on its reports. It explains that at its meeting in Geneva in June 2012, the Panel amended its election rules to strengthen geographic representation in the Bureau. This included raising the Bureau's membership to 31, to ensure each of its six geographic regions are represented in each Working Group and in the Executive Committee. Noting that “appropriate use” of non-peer reviewed literature has always been recognized by the IPCC as important for its assessments, the statement highlights that the Panel had agreed in Kampala in November 2011 to strengthen the rules governing the use of literature from all sources, and that its procedures specify that extra responsibility is needed by IPCC authors when assessing and reviewing non-peer reviewed, or “grey,” literature. [IPCC Statement][New Scientist Article]