Press Releases

  • False allegations against Dr R K Pachauri by the Telegraph, UK: A TERI Statement

    22 December 2009

    The UK-based Sunday Telegraph of December 20, 2009 has made serious, unfounded and false allegations against Dr R K Pachauri about business interests that he has "with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organizations dependent on the IPCC's policy recommendations". Just for the record, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes no policy recommendations, and all its reports are in the public domain, widely distributed and disseminated across the world. There is nothing in these reports that could have any proprietary benefit.

    The Center for Public Integrity in the US recently brought out a report that more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2340 lobbyists to influence federal policies on climate change in the past year, registering an increase of more than 300 % in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just 5 years. Lobbyists in the UK led by long term climate skeptics like Lord Monckton have mounted similar efforts. Dr Pachauri gave a talk at the University of Copenhagen during COP15 at which Lord Monckton who was in the audience, raised some questions, which Dr Pachauri was able to deal with effectively. Lord Monckton also handed over some papers which were neither addressed to Dr Pachauri nor signed by Lord Monckton, but contained many untruths and false allegations, all of which strangely also appeared in the article published by the Sunday Telegraph.

    As regards the Tata group it has no relationship with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). This institute was established in 1974, of course, through seed money mainly from Tata Chemicals, at that stage led by Mr. Darbari Seth, the founder of TERI. The Tata group has a distinguished record of setting up several institutions of excellence such as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and more recently the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Each one of these institutions has an independent governance structure and functions strictly on a not for profit basis in keeping with Indian legal and regulatory requirements. In this respect the Tata group is in no way different from those who established institutions like Carnegie-Mellon University, Duke University and Stanford University in the US. Hence, in no way is TERI responsible for the work of the Tata Group just as the Tata Group is in no way responsible for the functioning of TERI. As regards CDM projects in India and carbon markets in India and China TERI is in no way connected with or responsible for any of the Tata companies and their operations, including any CDM projects. TERI as an independent institution of excellence and is highly regarded universally.

    The mention of Glori Oil in the article is also distorted. It is a company established for using the microbial technology developed by TERI through painstaking research over many years, which works in an environmental friendly way for enhancing oil recovery from existing stripper wells in the US. Any technique that enhances oil recovery from existing sites through environmentally benign methods instead of drilling for oil in virgin sites is completely consistent with an approach that emphasizes sustainable development.

    TERI has a tax exempt status in every country where its affiliates are located such as Section 501(c) status in the US, a similar status with the Charity Commission in the UK and recognition under Section 35 (i)(ii) of the Income Tax Act in India. Such status is granted by the relevant authorities in each of the countries concerned on the basis of proper auditing of accounts and submission of documents that are carefully scrutinized. TERI-NA which has been mentioned specifically is a modest operation. It received financial support of US$ 263,170 in 2009 by the "galaxy of official and corporate sponsors" as alleged in the article) for an event organized in Washington DC on October 1, 2009, which was attended by around 300 participants including very senior policymakers from both the US and India.

    In the case of TERI-Europe, payments received from the European Commission and DEFRA are part of their international development portfolio. TERI-Europe is not receiving any funding from the EU for a project on 'bio-energy'. The aim of the study on Indian insurance industry (funded by DEFRA) was to map the exposure of the Indian insurance industry to cover risks related to climate change and prepare a status report on the sector, with recommendations on how the sector can assist in adapting to climate change for the most affected stakeholders i.e. the agricultural sector and poor farmers most at risk. It was merely a status report with a set of recommendations and did not result in any monetary benefit for the Tata's or any other insurance company.

    As for Dr Pachauri's involvement as an advisor on renewable and sustainable energy to Credit Suisse, we are proud of his association because his advice would obviously help to move this financial institution towards the development of renewable energy projects. During the period that he has been an advisor to Credit Suisse they have paid honorarium, all of which has gone directly to this institute, TERI, and not a single cent of this amount has come to Dr Pachauri. As for his association with Indo China Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, there has been absolutely no payment for advice rendered which was intended to help this organization move towards green buildings and structures. Nor has any payment been received from the Risk Governance Council in Geneva, the New York Investment Fund Pegasus, nor the Chicago Climate Exchange. As a principle, whenever honoraria or other payments are to be received for rendering advice to any organization or delivering talks etc, Dr Pachauri has scrupulously insisted on payment being made to his institute TERI and not to him as an individual.

    For his appointment as Director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Dr Pachauri insisted on his contract being structured in a deviation from Yale University procedure to see that all compensation for his time be remitted only to TERI as an institute and not to Dr Pachauri. He firmly believes that as a full time paid employee of TERI any honoraria that he gets for work outside TERI is legitimately to be paid to the institution to further its research activities. This has been true of his advice to the Deutsche Bank and Toyota Motor Company of which he was a member of the International Advisory Board. Further, Dr Pachauri has never received any payment from SNCF of France.

    The following statement provides details of payments received by TERI for advice provided by Dr R. K. Pachauri to the organizations named in the article.

    Honoraria payments received by TERI during the period: July 2006 - 21 December 2009

    Sl.No. Organisation Amount Purpose
    1. Deutsche Bank Euro Euro 100,000 Member, Climate Change Advisory Board
    2. Credit Suisse US$ 25,000 Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse
    3. Toyota Motor Company US$ 80,000 Member, Toyota International Advisory Board
    4. Yale University US$ 48,750 Monthly payments received upto 30th Nov 2009
    5. Asian Development Bank US$ 4425 ADB's Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development
    6. EDF Euro 1200 SD Panel meeting

    As for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dr Pachauri's quotation regarding this agency's role he has only emphasized what the Supreme Court of the United States has given the EPA authority to do. Dr Pachauri's insistence that India should not agree to binding emission reduction targets does in no way deviate from the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Telegraph needs to appreciate the fact that there are hundreds of millions of Indians who earn less than US$ 2 per day, with 400 million living without access to electricity and almost 600 million cooking barely two meals a day using twigs, inferior forms of biomass such as agricultural residue, and cow dung, with no prospects of using petroleum products for this purpose. Can there be any moral basis for the world to impose reduction of emissions on India? And should the developed countries not pay for the incremental cost of developing solar power or other forms of renewable energy supply consistent with the provisions of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

    The Telegraph published an Op-ed piece many months ago against Dr Pachauri's exhortations to lower meat consumption. We stand by Dr Pachauri's advice for human beings to cut down on their meat consumption because the livestock and factory based meat supply industry of today is responsible for large scale emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    As for the Kuwait contract that TERI has bid for, the institute has spent several years developing a unique biotechnology based technique for cleaning up oil spills that is completely environmentally friendly and economically attractive. It is now used extensively in India, and we would be happy to supply this technology to any part of the world, including Kuwait.

    In conclusion we wish to firmly state that the allegations published by the Telegraph are false and without foundation. No representative of the newspaper has bothered to approach Dr Pachauri or crosscheck with him on any of the allegations that have been made.

    We demand an unqualified apology from the Telegraph for this libelous piece of journalism or else we would take recourse to other measures as we consider appropriate and necessary.