By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:03pm EDT
(Reuters) – One of the 70 authors of a draft U.N. report on climate change said he had pulled out of the writing team because it was “alarmist” about the threat.
Richard Tol told Reuters he disagreed with some findings of the summary to be issued in Japan on March 31.
“The drafts became too alarmist,” the Dutch professor of economics at Sussex University in England said by telephone from Yokohama, Japan, where governments and scientists are meeting to edit and approve the report.
But he acknowledged some other authors “strongly disagree with me”.
The final draft says warming will disrupt food supplies, slow economic growth, and may already be causing irreversible damage to coral reefs and the Arctic.
“The report is a product of the scientific community and not of any individual author,” the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a statement. “The report does not comprehensively represent the views of any individual.”
It said Tol notified it in September that he was withdrawing from the team writing the summary. He had been invited to Japan to help the drafting and is also the coordinating lead author of a sub-chapter about economics.
Tol, who has sometimes been at odds with other scientists in the past by pointing to possible benefits from global warming, had not made his pullout widely known until now.
The report will help governments prepare a deal to cut rising greenhouse gas emissions, mainly by shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energies, at a summit in Paris in late 2015.
RISK AND OPPORTUNITY
Tol said the IPCC emphasized the risks of climate change far more than the opportunities to adapt. A Reuters count shows the final draft has 139 mentions of “risk” and 8 of “opportunity”.