Further allegations of sexual harassment have been brought against Rajendra Pauchari, former Chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Following allegations brought by a researcher at his Delhi think tank last week, a second woman has now stepped forward claiming to have been harassed by Dr Pauchari.
The unidentified woman has alleged that she the victim of sexual harassment at the hands of Dr Pauchari at work in 2005. She made the allegations in a letter published by her lawyer, Vrinda Grover, The Times has reported. In the letter, she claims that she and many other women “faced sexual harassment at the hands of this man”.
Mr Grover said that his client was “taking appropriate legal steps” against Dr Pachauri, adding: “This is something that has been going on over a long period, and because of his position of power and influence many women felt unable to speak out.”
Dr Pauchari resigned his chairmanship of the IPCC last week, a post he had held since 2002. He also stepped down from leading The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), where he had been director general for about three decades, after a 29 year old researcher at TERI came forward with texts, emails and WhatsApp messages allegedly from Pauchari, which she said amounted to sexual harassment. She told the police that he had bombarded her with messages, despite her repeated protestations.
The researcher has told India’s Economic Times that she was left feeling “broken” and “helpless” by his behaviour, but is refusing to leave the organisation. “It is not going to be easy but I am not going to quit,” she said. “I want truth to win.”
Dr Pauchari, a 74 year old father of three, has claimed that his phone and email accounts were hacked by someone wanting to discredit his work on climate change.
Over the years, his work has attracted a great deal of criticism: in 2007 he faced calls for his resignation from the IPCC when it emerged that a claim in the first IPCC report that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 was false.
Following his resignations last week, Dr Pauchari has now also stood down from the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. Yesterday the Indian Government issued a one-line statement on its website which read “The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has accepted the resignation of R K Pachauri from the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.” The council, headed by the Prime Minster, decides Indian policy on climate change, according to the Indian Express.
Dr Pauchari is currently in a Delhi hospital undergoing treatment for a heart condition.