Errors said to be have been made by the organisation charged with the job of determining the scientific truths about climate change have led the Government to take a "cautious" approach to its own climate change policies.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes reports which are used by governments around the world to guide their policies, but concerns have been raised after a series of potential inaccuracies were highlighted by media.

The last report, issued in 2007, said it was likely that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. A British newspaper investigated the IPCC's claim and found that it was likely to have been based on a 1999 interview with an obscure Indian scientist.

"In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report," read part of an article in London's Sunday Times.

In an article which will appear in this weekend's edition of the Listener, Environment Minister Nick Smith says "the fact that there are errors in the IPCC report is of concern."

Dr Smith says the errors would "inevitably" have an effect on New Zealand's climate change policy, but that the Government would take a cautious approach to any changes made.

"I've had calls from people who want us to abandon or defer the Emissions Trading Scheme," he said. "That's not what the Government is going to do."

* The February 20 issue of the Listener is available in stores from tomorrow.