After serving in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for 13 years as chairperson, Rajendra K Pachauri resigned on Tuesday in the wake of sexual harassment charges levelled against him by an employee at the The Energy Research Institute (Teri), a non-profit think tanks which he headed.
The 74-year-old Pachauri had earlier proceeded on leave from Teri. As chair of IPCC, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice-president Al Gore in 2007.
Pachauri skipped IPCC event in Nairobi this week. In his resignation letter, he writes, “The IPCC needs strong leadership and dedication of time and full attention by the chair in immediate future, which under the current circumstance I may be unable to provide as shown my inability to travel to Nairobi to chair the plenary session of panel this week. I have, therefore, taken the decision to step down from position as chair of IPCC some months before completion of my term and with effect from February 24, 2015.”
Meanwhile, vice-chair Ismail El Gizouli has been appointed as an acting chair of IPCC. The statement says, “The Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed on Tuesday, in accordance with its procedures, to designate Vice-Chair Ismail El Gizouli as Acting IPCC Chair. The designation of Gizouli follows the decision by Rajendra K Pachauri, PhD, to step down as Chairman of the IPCC effective today.”
The decision to name Gizouli was taken at a Session of the Bureau ahead of the 41st Session of the IPCC, which is being held between 24 and 27 February, 2015.
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