London, Jan. 17 (ANI): Despite question marks over the accounts of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the British Government has decided to pay millions of pounds to the institute run by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the UN climate change panel.
TERI, based in New Delhi, will receive up to 10 million pounds of funding over the next five years from the Department for International Development (DfID).
The grant comes amid concerns over the finances of The Energy and Resources Institute's (TERI) London operation.
Last week, TERI's UK head called in independent accountants after admitting 'anomalies' in its accounts that have prompted demands for the Charity Commission to investigate.
Since his appointment as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2002, Dr. Pachauri has arguably become the world's most powerful climate official.
The decision by DfID to fund TERI will add to growing concern with critics accusing Dr Pachauri and his institute of gaining financially from policies, which are formulated as a result of the work he carries out as IPCC chairman.
"It is now a wholly legitimate concern to ask questions about possible conflicts of interests. The IPCC is a very influential body and he is obviously very involved in its leadership," Lord Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said.
Ann Widdecombe, a British MP and a climate sceptics, said: "I would have thought that in the interests of transparency and for the avoidance of doubt he probably should not perform both roles. It makes me uneasy."
However, Pachauri strongly denied the suggestions of any money laiundering.
"I am proud of my association with various organisations, but such associations are limited to me providing them with advice essentially on clean technologies and sustainable practices. There is no question of them influencing the functioning of TERI, the IPCC or myself," he said.
"This is not for reasons of tax evasion or money laundering, but, to keep within the practices of TERI, of which I am a full-time, salaried employee. No part of these payments is received by me from TERI either directly or indirectly," he added. (ANI)