Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the world’s top climate change science body, the IPCC, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment by a 29-year-old researcher.
Dr Pachauri, 74, strongly denies the claims, but said he was stepping down with immediate effect so as not to serve as a distraction in a crucial year for climate change negotiations.
“The IPCC needs strong leadership and dedication of time … which under current circumstances I may be unable to provide,” Dr Pachauri wrote in his resignation letter.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the UN body charged with assessing developments in climate change science. Dr Pachauri is accused by a female researcher at the think-tank he runs in Delhi of repeated inappropriate behaviour, both physically and through emails, texts and WhatsApp messages.
He has denied all charges, claiming that he was the victim of hacking by criminals who accessed his computer and phone to send the messages, in an attempt to malign him.
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