London: Britain's leading newspaper The Sunday Times has apologised to IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri for an article it published in January asserting that the UN panel's Amazon statement was "bogus".
The newspaper not only published a correction but also an apology, which is considered a "giant climb down."
The newspaper said "the article 'UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim' stated that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had included an unsubstantiated claim that up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could be sensitive to future changes in rainfall."
The IPCC had referenced the claim to a report prepared for WWF by Andrew Rowell and Peter Moore, whom the article described as "green campaigners" with "little scientific expertise."
The article also stated that the authors' research had been based on a scientific paper that dealt with the impact of human activity rather than climate change.
"In fact, the IPCC's Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF report, the figure had, in error, not been references, but was based on research by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the impact of climate change," the paper said in the correction.
"A version of our article that had been checked with Lewis underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on these points. We apologise for this."