The former head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been found guilty of sexually harassing a female co-worker at an Indian-based think tank, according to an internal investigation.
Earlier this year, Rajendra Pachauri was forced to step down as chairman of the IPCC amid allegations he had sexually harassed a female underling while serving as director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), an Indian-based think tank.
Now an internal investigation by TERI has concluded that Pachauri repeatedly made unwanted advances toward a young female co-worker. When his advances were rejected, Pachauri retaliated against the women by “taking away her work,” according to the internal panel tasked with investigating the case.
The internal committee recommended Pachauri be punished, according to the Deccan Chronicle. It should be noted, however, that this is an internal investigation by the think tank, not a legal judgement by the courts. Though TERI’s conclusion that Pachauri had harassed a female underling may not bode well for his court case.
The 74-year-old Pachauri has headed up the IPCC since 2002 and has been praised by scientists, environmentalists and politicians for his commitment to fighting global warming. Pachauri even headed up the IPCC when it and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007 for activism on global warming.
Pachauri’s downfall came earlier this year when a young women who worked at TERI claimed he was making unwanted advances, including sending texts and emails. Pachauri, however, claimed his computer and phone were hacked.
“The entire computer outputs on the basis of which the said complaint has been filed and on the basis of which your questions are raised are completely false, fabricated, forged and manipulated,” Pachauri told The Economic Times. “Your questions have no connection with truth.”
After he denied the allegations, another woman came forward claiming to have worked for TERI in 2005. The second woman alleged that Pachauri had harassed her and other women as well in the course of his director generalship.
“I and many other female colleagues and friends who have worked at the same organization as the complainant at/in different points of time and capacities during the last 10 years have either been through similar harassment at his hands or have known someone who did,” claimed the woman, who chose to remain anonymous.
“Having mustered some courage, I complained to the then administrative head, essentially the side-kick to Big Boss,” the second woman wrote. “Side-kick refused to believe me, saying that I may have misread his warmth, that such things had never been reported, requested me to end the matter there and started to show me a meditative, self-help magazine that he subscribed to.”
Pachauri’s case is still being decided in the Indian courts. Most recently, the Delhi High Court rejected Pachauri’s grant of anticipatory bail, saying a fair trial can’t be had if the accused is “allowed to roam around freely.”
Ironically, Pachauri also authored a steamy romance novel in 2010 about an Indian climate scientist who travels and has sex with lots of women.
British newspaper The Telegraph reports that “the book, which makes reference to the Kama Sutra, starts promisingly enough as it tells the story of a climate expert with a lament for the denuded mountain slopes of Nainital, in northern India, where deforestation by the timber mafia and politicians has ‘endangered the fragile ecosystem.'”
The Telegraph also posted excerpts of the more risque chapters in Pachauri’s book. Apparently, climate scientists get a lot of action.