UNFCCC, government back Pachauri


New Delhi: Facing criticism after the goof-up on melting of Himalayan glaciers, Rajendra Pachauri, chief of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Thursday got support from the Indian government and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo De Boer Thursday said that Pachauri should not resign as IPCC head succumbing to media pressure.

Speaking in the same vein, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the “government will support Pachauri to the hilt”.

“Let there be no doubt on that. There is no wavering in the support of the Indian government. The prime minister and others in the government are supporting him as chairman of IPCC. Let there be no two opinions on that,” Ramesh told reporters here.

This is the first time that the government has strongly defended Pachauri, who is facing criticism globally following the IPCC blunder in warning that Himalayan glaciers would dry out by 2035.

Ramesh also accepted that the government annually spends Rs.5.7 million for running the IPCC office in Delhi.

“As a gesture of support and respect for the post of chairman of IPCC, the Indian government bears the cost of running the IPCC office in New Delhi and there is nothing unusual about it. It has been a trend in the IPCC that the chairperson is financially supported by the home country,” he added.

Speaking with reporters here, De Boer said: “I hope he doesn’t resign. He has led the scientific community in a very dedicated manner. The question really is how fast the glaciers are melting.”

Pachauri has held that he will not resign over a mistake in a key climate change report that claimed Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.

The Indian scientist has also been targeted by some British papers with personal attacks on his lifestyle.

To this, De Boer said: “In my language there is a saying, tall trees collect a lot of wind… well Pachauri is a very tall tree.”