Fresh doubts were cast over controversial global warming theories yesterday after a major climate change argument was discredited.
The International Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit its key claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were â€œspeculationâ€ and not backed up by research.
It was also revealed that the IPCCâ€™s controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, described as â€œthe worldâ€™s top climate scientistâ€, is a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics and no formal climate science qualifications.
Dr Pachauri was yesterday accused of a conflict of interest after it emerged he has a network of business interests that attract millions of pounds in funding thanks to IPCC policies. One of them, The Energy Research Institute, has a London office and is set to receive up to Â£10million from British taxpayers over the next five years in the form of grants from the Department for International Development.
Dr Pachauri denies any conflict of interest arising from his various roles.
Yesterday, critics accused the IPCC of boosting the man-made global warming theory to protect a multi-million pound industry.
Climate scientist Peter Taylor said: â€œI am not surprised by this news. A vast bureaucracy and industry has been built up around this theory. There is too much money in it for the IPCC to let it wither.â€