Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri

The head of the UN’s climate change panel – Dr Rajendra Pachauri – is accused of making a fortune from his links with ‘carbon trading’ companies, Christopher Booker and Richard North write.

Telegraph [UK]
Sunday, 20 December 2009

No one in the world exercised more influence on the events leading up to the Copenhagen conference on global warming than Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and mastermind of its latest report in 2007.

Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.

What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year.

Today, in addition to his role as chairman of the IPCC, Dr Pachauri occupies more than a score of such posts, acting as director or adviser to many of the bodies which play a leading role in what has become known as the international ‘climate industry’.

It is remarkable how only very recently has the staggering scale of Dr Pachauri’s links to so many of these concerns come to light, inevitably raising questions as to how the world’s leading ‘climate official’ can also be personally involved in so many organisations which stand to benefit from the IPCC’s recommendations.

The issue of Dr Pachauri’s potential conflict of interest was first publicly raised last Tuesday when, after giving a lecture at Copenhagen University, he was handed a letter by two eminent ‘climate sceptics’. One was the Stephen Fielding, the Australian Senator who sparked the revolt which recently led to the defeat of his government’s ‘cap and trade scheme’. The other, from Britain, was Lord Monckton, a longtime critic of the IPCC’s science, who has recently played a key part in stiffening opposition to a cap and trade bill in the US Senate.

Their open letter first challenged the scientific honesty of a graph prominently used in the IPCC’s 2007 report, and shown again by Pachauri in his lecture, demanding that he should withdraw it. But they went on to question why the report had not declared Pachauri’s personal interest in so many organisations which seemingly stood to profit from its findings…

…Under the CDM, firms and consumers in the developed world pay for the right to exceed their ‘carbon limits’ by buying certificates from those firms in countries such as India and China which rack up ‘carbon credits’ for every renewable energy source they develop – or by showing that they have in some way reduced their own ‘carbon emissions’.

It is one of these deals, reported in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, which is enabling Tata to transfer three million tonnes of steel production from its Corus plant in Redcar to a new plant in Orissa, thus gaining a potential £1.2 billion in ‘carbon credits’ (and putting 1,700 people on Teesside out of work).

More than three-quarters of the world ‘carbon’ market benefits India and China in this way. India alone has 1,455 CDM projects in operation, worth $33 billion (£20 billion), many of them facilitated by Tata – and it is perhaps unsurprising that Dr Pachauri also serves on the advisory board of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the largest and most lucrative carbon-trading exchange in the world, which was also assisted by TERI in setting up India’s own carbon exchange.

But this is peanuts compared to the numerous other posts to which Dr Pachauri has been appointed in the years since the UN chose him to become the world’s top ‘climate-change official’.

In 2007, for instance, he was appointed to the advisory board of Siderian, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm specialising in ‘sustainable technologies’, where he was expected to provide the Fund with ‘access, standing and industrial exposure at the highest level’…

The complete article is at the Telegraph.

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