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IPCC report raises fresh questions over Dr Rajendra Pachauri's leadership

United Kingdom
Daily Telegraph
Louise Gray

In response to accusations that Dr Rajendra Pachauri had compromised his position as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because of his role in an environmental consultancy, the report described the claims as "troubling".

The report exposed a number of procedural management failings, highlighting the role held by Dr Pachauri as needing particular scrutiny.

The Indian engineer has been chairman of the IPCC since 2002, renewing his initial six year term in 2008.

However there have been repeated calls for his resignation, most notably following the incorrect claim that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The questions over the IPCC led to a review of his organisation by the InterAcademy Council, a grouping of the world's most prestigious science organisations.

“It was beyond our charge to review the conflict-of-interest controversies that have been reported in the press,” said Prof Harold T. Shapiro, chairman of the investigating committee, “but we did note that the lack of a conflict of interest policy was troubling to many of the stakeholders we heard from.”

He added: “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists, an ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained.”

Following criticism that the position of chairman was too powerful, the report also suggested that no one should be allowed to serve more than one term. It did not comment on whether Dr Pachauri should be able to serve out his second term.

Dr Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Dr Pachauri was now “damaged goods”.

“The criticism of the management process is quite severe,” he said. “It is an indirect call for Dr Pachauri to step down,” he said.

The role of chairman is a part time, unpaid role.

Dr Pachauri has been accused of a conflict of interest in the past because of his other role as leading The Energy Research Institute (Teri), a think tank promoting sustainable development.

It was alleged that he could have vested interest in proving climate change by business dealings with carbon trading companies. However he was cleared on any financial wrongdoing recently by an independent review.

Dr Pachauri has always made clear that to the IPCC that he as another role as director of TERI.

Asked if he would consider resigning if requested to, he said he would abide by any decision the IPCC made.

Dr Pachauri has stood up in the past against what he called "ideologically driven" attacks on the IPCC.

"The IPCC will be strengthened by the IAC review and by others of its kind this year,” he said.

"We already have the highest confidence in the science behind our assessments.

"We're now pleased to receive recommendations on how to further strengthen our own policies and procedures,” he added.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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