In the wake of Climategate, IPCC was more or less forced to establish a review of its procedures, carried out by the Interacademy Panel. One of its key recommendations was on conflict of interest – more on this later. A related recommendation called for the formation of an Executive Committee, with at least 3 members not being IPCC insiders:
The IPCC should establish an Executive Committee to act on its behalf between Plenary sessions. The membership of the Committee should include the IPCC Chair, the Working Group Co-Chairs, the senior member of the Secretariat, and 3 independent members, including some from outside of the climate community. Members would be elected by the Plenary and serve until their successors are in place.
A pretty sensible and long overdue recommendation. Independent board members are commonplace in far less prominent organizations.
In researching the conflict of interest policy, I noticed that even this mild recommendation was sabotaged by the IPCC. Here is the resolution on governance passed at the recent 33rd session in Abu Dhabi:
2.3.3 The Composition of the Executive Committee will be as follows:
IPCC Chair (who will chair the Executive Committee)
IPCC Co-Chairs of Working Groups I, II and III and of the Task Force on Inventories
IPCC Vice Chairs
b. Advisory Members:
Head of Secretariat
The four Heads of the Technical Support Units
No independent members on the Executive Committee. Instead of independent members, including ones not from the climate community, staff members will serve as ‘advisory members’.