New Delhi, Feb 8(ANI): UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, already under fire over errors in a key 2007 report, has raised eyebrows for accepting help from Reliance Industries to promote his new novel.
The novel called 'Return to Almora' was released in Mumbai by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Reliance has close links with Dr. Pachauri's The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and has received environmental awards from it, including one for its work on HIV/AIDS in 2007.
Ambani has also been on the steering committee of TERI's Centre for Research on Energy Security.
The release of his book highlights the links between TERI and large corporations, including big polluters.
However, sources close to both of them have denied a conflict of interest, saying that they were friends and that Ambani had released the book to highlight climate change.
"If they wanted to boost sales, they could have got (Bollywood superstar) Shahrukh Khan," The Times quoted a source close to Ambani, as saying.
TERI is a not-for-profit company that works "towards global sustainable development", advises the Government and gives awards for environmental excellence. It also does consultancy work for corporations such as Coca-Cola and India's National Hydroelectric Power Corp (NHPC).
Last year, TERI had awarded NHPC one of its corporate environmental excellence awards, which was criticized by activists who persuaded the judging panel to reverse its decision after showing that the corporation's environmental commitments were eight years behind schedule.
However, TERI, which had received more than Rs ten million from NHPC in the past three years, rejected that decision. Three members of the judging panel resigned in protest.
Dr. Pachauri has defended his relationship with such companies, saying that there is no conflict of interest. Environmental activists disagree, saying that he needs to draw clearer lines between his personal interests, TERI, its sponsors and the IPCC. (ANI)