R K Pachauri, who faces accusations of sexual harassment, has been allowed by a court to travel to Paris during the time of the climate change conference next month, but it is not clear whether he would be able to make an appearance at the conference venue like previous years.
Pachauri, a two-time chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-backed body of scientists, was accused of sexual harassment earlier this year by a junior colleague at the Delhi-based Teri. He has headed the institute for about three and a half decades. Pachauri had to step down from his IPCC position following the allegation.
Pachauri has been a regular at the annual climate change conferences in his capacity as IPCC boss. This time, however, he might not attend it.
According to the papers he produced in the court to get permission to travel abroad, Pachauri has been invited to attend a meeting of South-South Cooperation on Climate Change. The invite was extended by Jian Liu, Director of International Ecosystem Management Partnership of the United Nations Environment Programme.
“As usual, we will cover your travel and DSA… Since the event will be organised in a hotel outside the conference centre, you need not even (have) a quota permission from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that organises the climate conferences),” Liu wrote in an email that was attached in Pachauri’s application to the court.
The climate change conference will run from November 30 to December 11 and is expected to deliver a global agreement this year. The court of metropolitan magistrate Shivani Chauhan also allowed Pachauri’s request to travel to Bolivia and Saudi Arabia before going to Paris.
Meanwhile, TERI’s governing council is likely to meet in December to decide on Pachauri’s continued association with the organisation. Pachauri, it is learnt, had been demanding that he should be made chairman with executive powers.