This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
The former head of the IPCC has long posed as a saviour of the planet. In reality, he’s been a systematic sexual predator – the kind of boss no young woman should have to endure.
A story published today in India’s Economic Times begins with this sentence:
The research analyst who had levelled serious charges of sexual harassment against RK Pachauri has been been [sic] vindicated.
Journalist Raghav Ohri, who broke the Pachauri sex crime story back in February, says he has spoken to people familiar with a report prepared by an Internal Complaints Committee at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Rajendra Pachauri, the 74-year-old former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has led TERI for more than thirty years. After a 29-year-old female employee reported him to the police, accusing him of multiple sexual offences, the committee was struck pursuant to India’s 2013 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act.
In April, an Indian court ordered TERI to remove PK Agarwal, the mechanical engineer who serves as TERI’s head of human resources, from this committee. The complainant had successfully argued that he was biased, and told the court he’d advised her not to press charges. The three remaining committee members are all female.
Ohri says the committee heard testimony from 30 witnesses who appeared on behalf of Pachauri, and 19 who appeared on behalf of the complainant. He says the committee
found that Pachauri’s conduct amounted to misuse of his position and violation of the organisation’s policy on sexual harassment.
The committee is apparently recommending that the complainant receive financial compensation from TERI, and that Pachauri be disciplined. Ohri further writes that members of the committee themselves “had to cope with a hostile environment due to pressure and intimidation” from certain individuals at TERI during the course of their investigation.
In other words, Pachauri – who likes to talk about social justice and the moral obligations associated with climate change – is the worst kind of hypocrite. His own fiefdom, the empire he personally built over the past three decades, is one in which women have lived in fear of losing their jobs if they objected to groping, forcible kissing, and other inappropriate workplace behaviour. This is an environment in which, even after dozens of pages of highly incriminating e-mails and text messages became public, large numbers of people at TERI have continued to defend and protect Pachauri.
Pachauri has long posed as a saviour of the planet. In reality, he’s been a systematic sexual predator – the kind of boss no young woman should have to endure.
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.