India

UN climate head Rajendra Pachauri removed from Delhi office

Rajendra Pachauri at IPCC meeting in Berlin on 13 April 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rajendra Pachauri stepped down in February after 13 years of heading up the IPCC

The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of an Indian office.

The move followed protests over his return to his Delhi office while facing sexual harassment allegations.

Energy and Resources Institute in Delhi (TERI) announced that Mr Pachauri, 74, was being replaced as its director general.

The news came days after a court allowed Mr Pachauri to return to work.

Indian police are investigating a sexual harassment complaint from a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi.

Lawyers for the woman say the harassment included unwanted emails as well as text and phone messages. Mr Pachauri has denied the allegations and no formal charges have been brought against him yet.

After a court gave permission last week to Mr Pachauri to return to work at the Delhi-based think tank, there had been reports of a number of his colleagues expressing their unease over his return.

While not specifying why he was replaced, the Delhi-based think-tank said in a statement on Thursday that "the interests of TERI and its talented staff are paramount". It named former World Bank official Ajay Mathur as his successor.

The statement also praised Mr Pachauri's work in turning TERI into "a major, financially autonomous, professionally dynamic organisation on the global stage".

In February, he resigned as the head of the UN climate change panel after the sexual harassment allegations.

In 2007 he collected the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organisation for its work in the scientific assessment of the risks and causes of climate change. The IPCC shared the award with former US vice-president and environmental campaigner, Al Gore.

In 2010 Mr Pachauri rejected pressure to step down when errors were found in the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

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