IPCC Chairman Cleared of Any Financial Misconduct, Again

rajendra pachauri photo

photo: Lingaraj GJ via flickr

Back in March, Dr Rajendra Pachauri was cleared of alleged financial misconduct related to his work as chair of the IPCC. Pachauri had been accused of improperly profiting from his work in an a since-retracted article in The Telegraph, but an audit carried out by KMPG completely exonerated him. Well, The Guardian has just published the full report on the matter so it all comes back up again, though we now have more detail. So here's how little Pachauri actually personally profits from doing, arguably, some of the most important work on the planet:The audit shows that Pachauri receives just shy of $70,000 for his work as head of The Energy and Resources Institute. Between April 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 he received about $430 from two national power commissions in India on which he serves as director; about $775 for articles and lectures; and about $2160 in royalties on books and awards. So in total, roughly $73,365.

Any other money Pachauri received during the time period for work done for other organizations went to TERI--as did a lifetime achievement award of about $4275 he was given, and would have been entitled to personally keep.

For heading the IPCC, Pachauri received no salary whatsoever.

Summing up, KPMG said,

No evidence was found that indicated personal fiduciary benefits accruing to Pachauri from his various advisory roles that would have led to a conflict of interest.

Some of these details had already become public post-March, and Pachauri even went to far as to tell the world where he gets his suits tailored in Delhi and the (very low) price he pays for them, all in an effort to clear up the slur made upon him.

In a separate piece for The Guardian, George Monbiot goes into far greater detail about the saga behind the original accusations, but as he says, how little Pachauri ultimately gets paid really is a symbol of how seriously governments take climate change:

It's well known that the IPCC does not pay its chairmen. His job at TERI is not a "sideline", as many of his opponents maintain. It is his livelihood.

This is a reflection of the lack of support given by governments to the IPCC. Its opponents like to create the impression that it's an all-powerful body on the verge of creating a communist/fascist world government. In reality it's a tiny, underfunded organization which can't even pay its own chairman.

Compare Pachauri's total earnings to the kind of money made by the head of any of the UN agencies, or of the World Bank or the IMF, and you'll see that he receives one-fifth or one-tenth of the cash raked in by his peers.

More than that, what the whole incident shows is the lengths people opposed to a global climate deal being reached would go to in order to prevent one happening--the smears against members of the Climate Research Unit, the overblowing of small (if sometimes genuine) errors in the 2007 IPCC report go along with this.

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More on Rajendra Pachauri:
IPCC Head Pachauri Says Climate Skeptics, Lobbyists Will Ramp Up Efforts to Sabotage 2010 Global Climate Deal
Focus on Green Economic Development in Developing Countries, Not Just Emissions Reductions: IPCC Chair
Put It To Rest: IPCC Chair Pachauri Cleared of Alleged Financial Misconduct

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