The Sciences

IPCC Funding: Critics Don't Even Get the Numbers Right

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyFeb 22, 2011 1:10 AM


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Nick Sundt of the World Wildlife Fund has a post about the congressional attack on the IPCC, showing that critics appear to have dramatically overstated how much money the U.N. body receives from the U.S. In particular, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, who sponsored the amendment to cut IPCC funding, claims on his website that his bill "would prohibit $13 million in taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization fraught with waste and engaged in dubious science." But as Sundt writes:

Our sources suggest the U.S. contribution to the IPCC fluctuates depending on the stage of the assessment process, and that in recent years it probably has averaged $2 million per year. For FY2011 it might be closer to $2.4 million, assuming no law is passed to the contrary. That is less than one-fifth of the $13 million cited by Leutkemeyer. So where does the $13 million figure comes from? It turns out that the number represents the combined expenditures related to the IPCC and the U.N. Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The IPCC is engaged in scientific assessments while the UNFCCC involves international negotiations. The combined budget for activites related to the IPCC and UNFCCC was $13 million in FY2010, $8 million in FY2009 and $5.5 million in FY2008, reflecting stepped-up activity in both the IPCC assessment process and in the UNFCCC negotiations. Most of those funds are not contributions to the IPCC.

You can read Sundt's full post here. Talk about know-nothingism....

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