Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
A court has barred the former IPCC chairman from his workplace and forbidden travel abroad without permission. A conference at Harvard University has withdrawn his guest speaker invitation.
What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, Rajendra Pachauri was preparing to travel to Nairobi to chair a four-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
As head of the IPCC, director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), chairman of TERI’s governing council, and chancellor of TERI University, his influence was vast and his empire far-flung.
But Pachauri’s world is rapidly shrinking.
His resignation two days ago, as chairman of the IPCC, was only the beginning. The Indian press says he is now on leave from TERI, and that women’s activists have demanded that he resign from that organization, as well, pending a full investigation.
Today, a court forbade Pachauri from traveling abroad without permission, barred him from his workplace, and ordered him to refrain from contacting TERI personnel.
The Indian Express newspaper says that a status report submitted to the court by the investigating police officer calls the allegations against Pachauri “extremely serious in nature” and accuses him of “deliberately avoiding joining of investigation on the pretext of ill health.”
Despite police arguments that “custodial interrogation” is necessary, the court granted Pachauri protection from arrest for one month.
Meanwhile, an invitation to speak at a conference scheduled for March 7-8 at Harvard University has been withdrawn. It also appears unlikely that Pachauri will be taking part in the “unmissable” Road to Paris panel discussion seven weeks from today at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
In addition to its New Delhi headquarters, TERI has six regional offices in India. There are TERI outlets in London, Dubai, Tokyo, Malaysia, and Ethiopia. According to a map on TERI’s website, in North America TERI shares space with one of America’s “most powerful environmental groups,” the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Donna Laframboise is a Canadian investigative journalist and author of the 2013 book, Into the Dustbin: Rajendra Pachauri, the Climate Report & the Nobel Peace Prize. See Amazon.com, Amazon India, and other Amazon stores.