Former U.N. climate chief ousted from Indian think tank

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 23, 2015 9:56 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who quit a U.N. climate panel earlier this year over a sexual harassment complaint, was removed on Thursday from the Delhi-based think tank he headed for more than 30 years.

The 74-year-old will be replaced at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) by Ajay Mathur, who heads the government's Bureau of Energy Efficiency, TERI said in a statement after a meeting of its governing council.

Pachauri's 13-year tenure as head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), during which it shared the Nobel Peace Prize, was cut short in February when he stood down over complaints by a young female co-worker at TERI.

Instead of resigning from the non-profit group, Pachauri took a leave of absence while police investigated the case. He recently won a court order allowing him to return to the organization, according to local reports, bringing the simmering controversy to a head.

In its statement, TERI said that Mathur had been selected for the post after an extensive search initiated last September.

It added that TERI's governing council would not continue an internal investigation into the alleged sexual harassment by Pachauri, respecting a court order to halt the probe.

Pachauri, who did not answer a call to his mobile phone, was long a forceful advocate of climate science and a target for skeptics who doubt that global warming is man made.

The IPCC's findings form the basis for action by almost 200 governments that are seeking to agree a deal to limit climate change at a summit to be held in Paris at the end of this year.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Hugh Lawson)