Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Two more women have stepped forward, accusing ex UN IPCC Climate Chief Rajendra Pachauri of workplace sexual harassment.
Former UN climate change chief to face trial for sexual harassment of employees
Two more women file claims against Rajendra Pachauri after 29-year-old colleague from Energy and Resources Institute speaks out.
A court in Delhi has ruled that Rajendra Pachauri, the former chairman of a Nobel prize-winning UN panel on climate change, will stand trial on charges of stalking and sexual harassment of a former employee.
A 29-year-old former employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), based in the Indian capital, filed a police report against Pachauri last year. She said Pachauri, who led the organisation, had made inappropriate advances soon after she joined in 2013.
Earlier this year police filed 1,400 pages of evidence, including text messages and emails from Pachauri, and testimony from 23 witnesses, many of them Teri employees. Judge Shivani Chauhan said the evidence was sufficient to proceed with the trial.
“There are allegations against the accused that he made sexually coloured remarks upon the complainant on several occasions,” she said. “He touched the complainant inappropriately, despite a clear expression of disapproval from her side. He also sent inappropriate SMS and WhatsApp messages to the complainant.”
Since the initial police report, two other women have made public statements against Pachauri, accusing him of sexual abuse in the workplace.
The women who were allegedly subject to this abuse deserve our sympathy. But the fact Pachauri allegedly got away with gross sexual misconduct for an extended period, in my opinion opens real questions about the broader conduct of the IPCC. If the UN IPCC’s less than transparent workplace culture facilitated the coverup of outrageous sexual abuse and bullying by the boss over an extended period, what else are they concealing?