News24

Science 'shaken' by climategate

2009-12-07 16:08

Copenhagen - Saudia Arabia told global warming talks on Monday that trust in climate science had been "shaken" by leaked e-mails among experts and called for an international probe.

"The level of trust is definitely shaken, especially now that we are about to conclude an agreement that ... is going to mean sacrifices for our economies," Mohammed al-Sabban, the kingdom's top climate negotiator, told delegates at the opening of December 7-18 UN talks.

Al-Sabban called for an "independent" international investigation, but said that the UN climate science body was unqualified to carry it out.

"The IPCC, which is the authority accused, is not going to be able to conduct the investigation," he said, referring to the Nobel-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

The Saudi negotiator rejected IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri's defence of the integrity of the panel's findings - delivered earlier in the plenary session - as "general statements".

"In light of recent information... the scientific scandal has assumed huge proportion," al-Sabban said.

"We think it is definitely going to affect the nature of what can be trusted in the negotiations."

Saudi Arabia is oil cartel OPEC's leading producer and exporter.