Rajendra K Pachauri Stepped down as chairman of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) amid accusations that he sexually harassed a woman researcher.
A statement issued by the UN panel said Pachauri had decided
to step down as Chairman of the IPCC effective today.
But, Sources in the IPCC told that Pachauri was advised to
step down in the wake of the allegations. Pachauri Agreed to
that Advise and took a Decision.
74-year-old Pachauri, one of the UN’s top climate officials,
had pulled out of the high level meeting in Nairobi two days
ago after police began investigating the 29-year old
researcher’s allegation of sexual harassment against him.
Pachauri’s decision was announced by IPCC on the day he
decided to take leave as Director General of his Delhi-based
research organization, The Energy and Resources Institute
In an FIR, the researcher accused Pachauri of harassing her
after she joined Teri. She has alleged that the harassment
included emails and SMS and WhatsApp messages.
Pachauri has denied the charges and his spokesperson has said
he will cooperate in the ongoing investigation. His lawyers
claimed his emails, mobile phone and WhatsApp messages
were hacked and criminals accessed his computer and phone to
send the messages in an attempt to malign him.
Pachauri to Step down from all Panels?
Indian government is yet to decide whether Pachauri can continue as a member of some official panels, including the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.
He is also advisor to several states on climate change action
plans and TERI provides consultancy to the government in
several sectors, including energy, environment and water.
Government officials expect Pachauri to resign from these
panels on his own.
‘We are giving him some time to step down voluntarily,” said a
senior official. “The issue has not been discussed. We will take
a call at an appropriate time’
Leave ‘for the time being’!
In an internal email sent to officials of Teri, Pachauri said he
was proceeding on leave ‘for the time being’ in view of the
‘present circumstances and in the interest of taking an
immediate decision for removing any fears of my influencing
the due processes being followed within the Institute’.
Ismail El Gizouli as acting chair for IPCC
The Bureau of the IPCC designated vice-Chair Ismail El Gizouli as the acting chair for the panel’s session to be held in Nairobi during February 24-27.
‘The actions taken today will ensure that the IPCC’s mission to
assess climate change continues without interruption’, said
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment
Pachauri Speaking at IPCC
Pachauri was elected to the first of two terms as chair of the IPCC in April 2002 and he had been scheduled to complete his second term in October.
Elections for a new IPCC chair have already scheduled for the
panel’s 42nd Session to be held in October. Pachauri was
reportedly seeking a third term.
In a New Twist, Women’s rights activists have said that a second woman has also come forward to level similar allegations against Pachauri.