The head of the UN’s climate science panel, Rajendra Pachauri, has stepped down, the body announced Tuesday, amid claims that he sexually harassed a subordinate.
“The bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed on Tuesday… to designate vice-chair Ismail El Gizouli as acting IPCC chair,” it said. “The designation of Gizouli follows the decision by Rajendra K Pachauri, PhD, to step down as chairman of the IPCC effective today.”
The Nobel Peace Prize-awarded panel made its announcement from the Kenyan capital where a four-day conference opened Tuesday on the latest global warming science in a crucial year for climate.
Pachauri cancelled his attendance at the Nairobi meeting after a 29-year-old female researcher from the New Delhi-based think tank he heads, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), accused him of sending her inappropriate messages.
A leading voice on the dangers of climate change, Pachauri denied any wrongdoing, saying his email account and mobile phone were hacked.