Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to challenge a major UN climate change report.

The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN’s panel as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work” and ask for essays that “thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs”.

The UN report is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science.

I’d like to say I’m surprised at the depths certain interests will sink to to undermine and attack even the most even-handed and carefully negotiated scientific reports but I’m not, because there are enough people with financial interests in maintaining the status quo.