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Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

'The political implications of this are huge'


The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has told the BBC it will look into claims that figures on global warming were changed to exacerbate the threat.

The move comes after the theft of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.

Saudi Arabia has said that the emails will have a "huge impact" on the talks and that countries will now be unwilling to cut emissions.

Environment correspondent Richard Black told the Today programme that the leaked emails presented a "confused and half-baked picture".

But, just days away from the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, they have fuelled the arguments over the legitimacy of climate change science and attempts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Debating the issue on the programme Philip Scott, emeritus professor of Biogeography at the University of London, raised concerns over the validity of climate change mitigation projects.

"In so complex a system, managing one factor, at the margins, will not produce a predictable outcome," he said.

But environmentalist and writer Jonathon Porritt said that the majority of scientists were in agreement over the way forward.

"We have be prepared to adapt to what happens, but we have to acknowledge that the man-made element in this is the bit that we can manage," he said.

"The consensus is still that we need to do both mitigation and adaptation."

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