Inquiry announced into Pachauri’s UK money

The Times of India, under an odd-sounding headline, carry the following story on their web site today:

Pachauri-led TERI under UK scanner

LONDON: The British government is to carry out due diligence on New Delhi-based The Energy Research Institute following a local newspaper’s relentless campaign against the organization and its director-general, Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the IPCC chairman.

A British Department for International Development statement said, ‘‘As is routine, DFID is undertaking a full Institutional Assessment of TERI as part of our due diligence process.’’

The Sunday Telegraph’s persistence seems to have ‘‘triggered the routine’’.

The paper attacked DFID and its secretary of state (cabinet minister) Douglas Alexander for presenting 10 million pounds of British tax-payers money to TERI in Delhi last September. In its most recent piece, titled ‘‘The curious case of the expanding environmental group with falling income’’, it once again questioned TERI and Pachauri’s probity.

It alleged, ‘‘He (Pachauri) enjoys a lavish lifestyle; his Delhi home is in the Golf Links area, the most expensive stretch of residential real estate in India, and he is famous for his $1,000 suits.’’ The piece also insinuated that while the registered charity, TERI Europe’s business in the past six years had increased, its published turnover had decreased.

When ‘‘The Sunday Telegraph’’ reportedly put it to one of its two directors, Dr Ritu Kumar, a south London resident, that the body’s income and expenditure in recent years were both much greater than the figures it declared, she is said to have admitted anomalies in the accounts. Teri Europe’s accountants have now been instructed to produce a revised version.

Let us hope it achieves a frank disclosure of the financial affairs of arguably the most important figure in the climate change scandal. With the reputation of the IPCC taking almost daily hits on multiple fronts, it’s little wonder recent polls show fewer New Zealanders now worried by “global warming”.

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