Pachauri set to become IPCC head again

May 5th, 2008 - 2:02 pm ICT by admin  

By Joydeep Gupta
New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shared last year’s Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore, is set to become its chairman for a second term, official sources said. His current term ends July 31. Pachauri has agreed to put in his candidature for a second term, government sources confirmed here Monday. Pachauri is based in the Indian capital, where he also heads The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a think tank.

Pachauri’s name for a second term as head of the influential IPCC was endorsed at an executive committee meeting of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva late last month, the sources said.

The WMO is one of the parents of the IPCC. Top officials in the other parent body, the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), had made it known that Pachauri would be elected chairman “unanimously” if he agreed to put in his name.

“I don’t see anyone opposing him,” a senior UNEP official had told IANS earlier.

Pachauri was reportedly waiting for the WMO executive committee meeting before agreeing to have his name put forward. He has now agreed, the sources said, adding that the government would now formally propose his name to head the UN body once more.

Pachauri is also a member of the prime minister’s task force on climate change, which is expected to outline this June India’s strategy to tackle climate change.

Since Pachauri took over as chairman of the IPCC on April 20, 2002 for his first term, the group of over 2,500 scientists worldwide has come into global focus because they have been carrying out the benchmark studies on climate change, the crisis that has been described as the “defining challenge of our times”.

The fourth assessment report of the IPCC brought out in 2007 under Pachauri’s stewardship woke up the world to the imminence of climate change, a phenomenon that is already affecting farm output, leading to more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and raising the sea level, with the worst impacts on the tropics and sub-tropics.

Born on Aug 20, 1940 in Nainital, Padma Bhushan awardee Pachauri started his career at Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi. He moved on to teach at North Carolina State University in Raleigh (North Carolina), where he also got two doctorates - in industrial engineering and economics. Then he taught at Administrative Staff College of India in Hyderabad and was the director of Consulting and Applied Research Division before starting to head TERI in August 1981.

Pachauri has authored 21 books apart from a number of academic papers and articles. One of the books is on cricket, a game he follows keenly.

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