Friday 19 January 2018

Head of UN climate panel steps down

Rajendra Pachauri is resigning from his post. (AP)
Rajendra Pachauri is resigning from his post. (AP)

The leader of the UN's expert panel on climate change has stepped down amid an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in his native India.

Rajendra Pachauri wrote in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "needs strong leadership and dedication of time and full attention ... which under the current circumstances I may be unable to provide".

He did not elaborate but pointed to his recent withdrawal from a key meeting in Nairobi to attend to what the IPCC called "issues demanding his attention in India".

Mr Pachauri denies the allegations.

The IPCC said vice chairman Ismail El Gizouli will serve as the panel's acting chairman. Mr Pachauri was due to complete his term in October.

Mr Pachauri is being investigated in India after a 29-year-old woman accused him of sexually harassing her while they worked together at the New Delhi lobbying and research organisation he heads, The Energy Resources Institute.

He said in his resignation letter that he "would be available for help, support and advice to the entire IPCC in its future work in whatever manner I may be called on to provide".

Press Association

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