So what’s going on here? How do we explain this outlandish, perverse process?
Well Rajendra Pachauri, who chaired the IPCC for 13 years, said that its “main customer” was something called the UNFCCC. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is an IPCC official who’s working very hard to become its new chairman. This is slide #26 from a presentation he gave a few years ago: The IPCC, he says, is “eager to continue serving the UNFCCC process.” What does that mean?
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty. If you’re the UN, and you’re trying to persuade nearly 200 different parties to act together, you need to start from somewhere. You need an established body of facts, a master document, a bible that everyone can use as a jumping-off point. IPCC reports, it turns out, serve that purpose.
In other words, the IPCC’s primary function is to enable a political instrument – a treaty between nation states. This is high octane politics.