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Head of IPPC Dr Pachauri has personal chauffeur and $8 million home

He is the climate change chief whose research body produced a report warning that the glaciers in the Himalayas might melt by 2035 and earned a Nobel Prize for his work – so you might expect Dr Rajendra Pachauri to be doing everything he can to reduce his own carbon footprint.

But as controversy continued to simmer last week over the bogus ‘Glaciergate’ claims in a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which he heads – Dr Pachauri showed no apparent inclination to cut global warming in his own back yard.

On Friday, for the one-mile journey from home to his Delhi office, Dr Pachauri could have walked, or cycled, or used the eco-friendly electric car provided for him, known in the UK as G-Wiz.


But instead, he had his personal chauffeur collect him from his £4.5million home – in a 1.8-litre Toyota Corolla.

Hours later, the chauffeur picked up Dr Pachauri from the office of the environmental charity where he is director-general – The Energy and Resources Institute – blatantly ignoring the institute’s own literature, which gives visitors tips on how to reduce pollution by using buses.

Dr Pachauri – who as IPCC chairman once told people to eat less meat to cut greenhouse gas emissions – was driven to an upmarket restaurant popular with expatriates and well-off tourists just half a mile from his luxurious family home.

As he waited outside the institute office for Dr Pachauri, the chauffeur said: ‘Dr Pachauri does use the electric car sometimes but most of the time he uses the Toyota.’

The electric car might be kinder to the environment and more suitable for short trips, explained the chauffeur – who has worked for the environmentalist for 19 years – but it was simply too small for Dr Pachauri and a driver to share. ‘When he uses it, he has to use it by himself,’ he said.

At his office, Dr Pachauri has at his disposal four electric cars obtained by the institute last year from REVA – the Indian company that makes the G-Wiz cars seen in many British cities.

The institute bought the battery-powered cars with the express aim of reducing pollution on short trips by staff around town. One of those cars has been set aside for his personal use.

The chauffeur said Dr Pachauri’s family owned or ran a total of five cars. Dr Pachauri used three: the company Toyota, the REVA and an older ‘Ambassador-style car’ – a reference to the smoke-belching, Indian-made Hindustan Ambassador car, based on the vintage British Morris Oxford, that is a common sight at taxi ranks in Delhi.

The family’s two other cars are owned by Dr Pachauri’s wife and his grown-up son, also a scientist.

The five-star lifestyle and considerable wealth of Dr Pachauri – who is said to wear suits costing £1,000 each – has come under growing scrutiny since he was forced to acknowledge the error of the claims in an explosive 2007 IPCC report that the Himalayan glaciers might melt within 25 years.

The humiliating climbdown over the report, which was masterminded by Dr Pachauri and which led to the organisation sharing the Nobel Prize with Al Gore, was followed by calls for him to step down from the UN panel, which he has chaired since 2002.

On Friday, at the institute’s swish city-centre offices, where the foyer walls are covered with pictures of Dr Pachauri meeting politicians and dignitaries and receiving awards for his environmental work since he took up his role as its head in the Eighties, he declined to comment on recent calls for his resignation. He said: ‘I am very tied up – I am just too tied up to talk to you just now.’

His company’s manager for corporate communications, Rajiv Chhibber, later said: ‘Dr Pachauri is really stressed at the moment. The past two weeks have been very rough on him.

‘We have about 250 interview requests and he has to do all his usual work as well. We have the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit coming up in February and he has got a lot of work to catch up on.’

Another concern for Dr Pachauri could be the questions being asked about his portfolio of business interests in bodies that have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations – including banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds involved in carbon trading.

His institute is said to have received £310,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion’s share of a £2.5million EU grant after citing what have now been found to be the bogus Glaciergate claims in grant applications.

And there are signs in Delhi that Dr Pachauri – once fawned over by politicians and celebrities alike as a climate change luminary – is losing the support of some of his most powerful allies, including, critically, Indian government officials who previously used him as a key adviser.

Reports in Delhi last week suggested Dr Pachauri had been quietly dropped as head of a solar-power campaign being prepared by the prime minister.

The Golf Links area in Central Delhi where Dr Pachauri lives is named after the nearby Delhi Golf Course and is one of the most expensive residential areas in India. Every home in this gated community has its own security guard and it enjoys round-the-clock police patrols to protect its wealthy residents.

Dr Pachauri’s neighbours include a former prime minister’s son and senior Indian business leaders. Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man with an estimated £10.8billion fortune, owns a home in the same area.

Currently, homes of a similar size to Dr Pachauri’s are being advertised at prices of around £6million.

Explaining the area’s sky-high property prices, the director of an international property broker told India’s Economic Times: ‘This area has a certain snob value attached to it. Buying a house here means announcing to the world that one has arrived in life.’

Despite heading the UN body on climate change, Dr Pachauri has no background in environmental science. He began his career as a railway engineer, graduated in engineering and gained his doctorate in industrial engineering.

In an attack on Dr Pachauri in a Delhi magazine article on Friday, headlined The Great Climate Change Fraud, Indian commentator Ninad D. Sheth said: ‘Mr Pachauri has no training in climate science yet he heads the pontification panel which spreads the new gospel of a hotter world. How come?’

Yesterday, in a statement from Mr Chhibber, Dr Pachauri insisted that he would not resign over the Glaciergate controversy – and, ironically, urged people to use public transport to help reduce global warming.

Dr Pachauri said people should take ‘practical lifestyle steps’ including ‘use of energy-efficient transport, including public transport – and in general become conscious of our carbon footprints as individuals’.

Asked why Dr Pachauri used a chauffeur-driven car, Mr Chhibber said: ‘He does use the REVA electric car whenever he can and he encourages the staff to use the other electric cars when they drive around town. He also encourages all his staff to pool cars when we can.

‘But sometimes the REVA is not practical. It may be he has to pick up other people. There is not so much room inside.’

When Mr Chhibber was asked why Dr Pachauri left the REVA in the car park on Friday, he replied: ‘I cannot comment on that.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1247376/Controversial-climate-change-boss-uses-car-AND-driver-travel-mile-office---says-YOU-use-public-transport.html#ixzz0eCi0CkyU


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Added: Jan-31-2010 Occurred On: Jan-31-2010
By: kelly110
In:
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Tags: IPPC, global warming, AGW, Pachauri, climate change
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