15 February 2020

Rajendra K. Pachauri 1940-2020

It is with great sadness that IIASA marks the death of Rajendra K. Pachauri on 13 February 2020. As chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for more than a decade, and head of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for over 30 years, Pachauri’s passing is a profound loss to climate science.

© World Economic Forum | Remy Steinegger

© World Economic Forum | Remy Steinegger

Rajendra K. Pachauri, was an Indian engineer and economist who led the IPCC for over 10 years during a period when the panel received a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to expand knowledge about climate change caused by human activity and for laying the foundations for counteracting it. 

Pachauri joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as Director in 1982. His efforts and dedication ensured that TERI grew from a small documentation center to a multi-dimensional research institute with an impeccable global reputation. Under his leadership, TERI undertook pioneering work in the field of climate change and sustainable development, with over 1200 employees. 

IIASA researchers have had close collaboration with Pachauri, or Patchy as he was known to colleagues and friends, for many decades. For example, over 30 years ago IIASA joined the Asian Energy Institute that was organized by Pachauri and TERI. While IIASA researchers have contributed to the IPCC reports since their inception, under the chairmanship of Pachauri this collaboration grew to over 25 IIASA convening and lead authors on the fourth and fifth Assessment Reports.  

IIASA Director General Albert van Jaarsveld commented: “Rajendra Pachauri made an invaluable contribution to global sustainable development and his leadership of the IPCC contributed greatly to climate change being widely recognized as the most pressing issue confronting the world. IIASA sends its deep condolences to Pachauri’s family and in particular, his daughter and our colleague Shonali Pachauri, Acting Program Director of the Transitions to New Technologies Program and Senior Researcher in the Energy Program”.


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Last edited: 25 February 2020

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