Review of Dutch climate report

In 2010, the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency (PBL) investigated the IPCC report on the social and economic impact of climate change for errors. The Dutch Environment Minister subsequently asked the Academy to review whether the PBL did so in a scientifically sound manner. The Academy considered that it did.

The Dutch Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment asked the Academy to review an assessment of the IPCC climate report carried out by the PBL in the first half of 2010. The report concerned was issued by Working Group II and describes the social and economic impact of climate change. Previously, various errors in the IPCC report had been detected. The Minister wished to know the nature of these errors and whether the report also contained other errors. She therefore asked the PBL to conduct an investigation. She then asked the Academy to review the scientific foundations of the PBL’s work.

In a memorandum addressed to the Minister, the Academy reported that the PBL had based its assessment on sound scientific principles. The Academy also observed that the PBL’s analysis had refined and added depth to the IPCC’s report. Its work represented an improvement on the original IPCC report. The PBL’s findings also found their way into the IPCC review conducted in 2010 at the request of the United Nations.

The review was carried out by a committee consisting of:

Prof. R. Rabbinge, university professor of sustainable development and food security, Wageningen University & Research Centre

Prof. J. Bouma, emeritus professor of soil science, Wageningen University & Research Centre
Prof. R.P. Griessen, emeritus professor of condensed matter physics, VU Amsterdam
Prof. P. Nijkamp, professor of spatial economics (VU Amsterdam)
Prof. H. Hooghiemstra, professor of paleo-ecology and landscape ecology, University of Amsterdam

Dr. W. de Haas, head of the Advisory and Foresight Department, Academy Bureau

These members were not previously involved in the debate about the scientific foundations of the IPCC reports, but their expertise makes them authoritative judges of the scientific process. They are also active in the various disciplines that play a role in the IPCC Working Group II report.


The project was completed in July 2010.