Erstwhile climate saint Pachauri battles allegations to retain credibility

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New York, Feb. 9 (ANI): When he jointly received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore, UN Climate chief Rajendra K. Pachauri was being seen as a scientific saint, but now his credibility is being questioned by sceptics, politicians and even some mainstream scientists, who have accused Dr Pachauri and his climate panel of scientific sloppiness and financial irregularity.

Recently, The Times had reported that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) warning that global warming will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was based on a "speculative" article published in New Scientist.

And, a report published in The Telegraph accused Dr. Pachauri of profiting from his work as an adviser to businesses, including Deutsche Bank and Pegasus Capital Advisors, a claim he denies.

"My conscience is clear. These people want to distort the picture for their own ends. What we're doing is not only above-board, but laudable. These guys want me to resign, but I won't," The New York Times quoted Dr. Pachauri as saying.

However, several of the accusations have proved to be half-truths: While Dr. Pachauri does act as a paid consultant and adviser to many companies, he makes no money from these activities, the paper says.

The payments go to New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute, where the money finances charitable projects like Lighting a Billion Lives, which provides solar lanterns in rural India, it adds.

The general consensus among mainstream scientists is that the errors are in any case minor and do not undermine the report's conclusions.

"There is no evidence that outside interests affected Pachauri's leadership of the I.P.C.C. at all," said Hal Harvey, chief executive of ClimateWorks, San Francisco. The panel's process is so "robust and transparent" that it could not be undercut by "personalities or errors," he said.

According to the paper, the accusations of errors in the panel's report - most originating from two right-leaning British papers, The Sunday Telegraph and The Times of London - have sullied the group's reputation. (ANI)

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