Transcript from a telephone interview with Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC

“… there’s every reason to hope that there will be some action now …”

Transcript of the telephone interview with Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), following the announcement of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, 12 October 2007. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of

[Rajendra Pachauri] – Hello.

[Adam Smith] – Hello, this is Adam Smith from the Nobel Foundation’s website.

[RP] – Yes sir.

[AS] – Is this a possible time to talk, quickly?

[RP] – Sure.

[AS] – Thank you. So, congratulations of course on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

[RP] – Thank you.

[AS] – What do you think the Nobel Peace Prize means to the IPCC?

[RP] – What do they mean to the IPCC or to the world?

[AS] – Uh, either, or both!

[RP] – I mean, for the IPCC it’s really a big honour and you know it just provides an enormous amount of encouragement to all the scientists and experts who worked tirelessly to produce the reports of the panels, and I mean this is an honour that no-one could have anticipated. And as far as the world is concerned, I think it’s a very clear message that climate change is extremely important. Could you just hold half a minute?

[AS] – Certainly, yes.

[RP] – Hold just half a minute.

[AS] – Of course, yes.

[RP, to unknown person] – Well they can call 15 minutes later.

[Unknown, to another telephone caller] – Can you call back in 15 minutes.

[RP] – Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I think as far as the world is concerned, I think it’s a very clear signal that the Nobel Prize Committee is clearly indicating that climate change is something that needs attention. It’s a serious problem, and it therefore requires urgent attention, from the world and the global community.

[AS] – And I know that your fourth Assessment Report is due out soon, but that you’ve already received your contributions from your working groups.

[RP] – Right.

[AS] – Do the latest findings make you more or less hopeful that, if the world does pay attention to this, we can prevent the effects of anthropogenic climate change?

[RP] – Well I think the response to the three working group reports has been totally unprecedented, far beyond my expectations and those of everybody else that’s involved in the business, and therefore we expect that the synthesis report, which is due to come out next month, will also be received with a great deal of interest. And I think the result so far has been that there’s an enormous amount of awareness and understanding of everything related to climate change. Not only among the public, but I would say also the world leaders. And therefore there’s every reason to hope that there will be some action now on this front.

[AS] – And my last question. If individuals were to ask you what they should do to help …

[RP] – Yes, yes.

[AS] – … what would your message to them be?

[RP] – Well I would say two things. Firstly I think we should ponder and consider, ponder over and consider, the carbon footprint that each of our actions is producing. And I think if we create a consciousness that this world has to move towards a low carbon future, then I think it would certainly set us in a somewhat different direction from what we’ve been following. And secondly I think there is need for major behavioural changes, and changes in lifestyles, and I think if the public puts adequate pressure on governments then governments will frame policies, including putting a price on carbon, that will provide the right signals to the market as well for developing new technologies and being able to disseminate them on a large scale.

[AS] – OK.

[RP] – So, in general, that’s what I would say.

[AS] – OK, thank you very much indeed.

[RP] – Thank you.

[AS] – Thank you for sparing the time to talk to us and once again congratulations.

[RP] – Thank you very much, thanks very much.

[AS] – Bye, bye.

[RP] – Bye.

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