IPSO upholds complaint against Daily Express for: 'Climate change PROVED to be “nothing but a lie”, claims top meteorologist'

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has upheld a complaint against the Daily Express for an article claiming that climate change had been "PROVED to be 'nothing but a lie'".

In its latest round of published rulings, IPSO upheld one complaint under clause 1 (accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice and rejected another.

The rejected complaint was made by Neil Manson, who claimed it was inaccurate to describe John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, as a “top meteorologist” in the 23 October article.

The Express amended this in the article, but when Manson said this was unsatisfactory IPSO ruled that the newspaper's description of Coleman, who it said had “studied climate change seriously for years”, was not "significantly misleading".

However, IPSO did uphold the accuracy complaint made by Vincent Wilkinson on the article, which was originally headlined: “Climate change PROVED to be ‘nothing but a lie’, claims top meteorologist”. 

He said it was inaccurate to report that: “in 2010 a high-level inquiry by the InterAcademy Council found there was ‘little evidence’ to support the IPCC’s [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] claims about global warming. It also said the panel had purposely emphasised the negative impacts of climate change made ‘substantive findings’ based on little proof.”

The Express accepted that council's findings had been reported incorrectly and published the following correction: “This article originally referred to John Coleman as a top meteorologist; that reference has now been removed. It also claimed that in 2010 a high-level inquiry by the InterAcademy Council found there was ‘little evidence’ to support the IPCC’s claims about global warming. In fact, the InterAcademy Council had not found that. The article has now been amended.”

IPSO upheld the complaint, but told the Wilkinson there was nothing it could do about the websites that had followed up on the Express claims because it does not regulate them.

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