Rajendra Pachauri steps down as head of IPCC: UN
OSLO (Reuters) – Rajendra Pachauri stepped down as chair of the UN panel of climate scientists on Tuesday after allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied.
Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, pulled out of an IPCC meeting in Kenya this week after the Delhi police started an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against him.
Pachauri has denied the allegations, according to a local court order. Pachauri, who has been chair of the IPCC since 2002 and whose term had been due to end in October 2015, has also suffered cardiac problems.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pachauri said that his inability to travel to Kenya showed he may be unable to ensure the “strong leadership and dedication of time and full attention by the chair” needed by the panel.
“I have, therefore, taken the decision to step down from my position as chair of the IPCC some months before completion of my term,” he wrote.
He collected the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC in 2007. Findings by the IPCC about global warming are the basis for action by almost 200 governments which have agreed to work out a deal in December 2015 to combat climate change.