Pachauri: money laundering?

From EUReferendum

To discuss issues related to the UK's position in Europe and the world.

Posted by Richard Monday, 11 Jan, 2010:

Part One

A British government department, DEFRA, has paid taxpayers' money to a British University which in turn paid it to the British subsidiary of an Indian research organisation, which in turn seems to have paid it to a New Zealand university scientist so that he could work for an international organisation based in Geneva – the IPCC.

Welcome to the bizarre world of climate change politics, where nothing is what it seems and governments indulge in behaviour which, in other circumstances, would look very much like money laundering. But, bizarre though it might appear, this is only half the story. The reality is even more convoluted - the word "bizarre" doesn't even begin to describe it.

The tale emerges from our trail of the millions salted away by climate change "hero" Rajendra Pachauri, and the role of TERI Europe, his outpost of Empire in London.

When we were first alerted to this payment from DEFRA of £30,417 by one of our forum members at the beginning of the month, we found it had been paid to Cambridge University, "to provide funding to TERI Europe to cover salary and travel cost of the head of unit responsible to produce a Synthesis Report of the IPCC AR4."

Given that the only link (we thought) between TERI and the IPCC was Dr R K Pachauri, we naturally assumed that the money was intended for the good doctor. We were wrong. That he was paid this money is denied by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – which has taken over some duties from DEFRA.

The press office at DECC, however, has been unable (so far) to tell us to whom the money was paid. That information came from none other than Mrs Robins, aka Ritu Kumar, director and company secretary of TERI Europe. In response to our questions, she informs us that the money went to Dr Andrew Reisinger (pictured), whom she tells us, is currently a senior fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute.

Andy, as he likes to be known, is a figure of some importance in the "climate community". As head of the Technical Support Unit for the synthesis report group of the IPCC, he was responsible to his "core group" co-author Rajendra Pachauri for co-ordinating the drafting of the "synthesis report" to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

The importance of this synthesis report cannot be overstated. Approved in detail at the IPCC plenary in Valencia, Spain, during 12-17 November 2007, it represents the formally agreed statement of the IPCC concerning key findings and uncertainties in AR4. It is the substantive document, on which governments rely for the subsequent climate negotiations.

Thus, Reisinger is in an important and powerful position, which makes his background crucially important, if he is to be seen as independent and impartial. This would seem to be the case if he works for the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, which is a department of the University of Wellington.

Certainly his cv starts well enough, and seems to confirm this. By way of background, he studied atmospheric sciences in Germany and New Zealand, specialising in measurements and modelling of ozone depletion, urban air pollution and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

He then spent six years working for the [New Zealand] Ministry for the Environment as Senior Adviser on climate change, acting as science liaison point, developed a work programme on climate change impacts and adaptation options, and contributing to climate policy development. In 2002, he also represented the NZ government on the IPCC and participated in negotiations under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol.

But then, he tells us, he worked "for the IPCC in the UK and in India," where he coordinated the production of the Synthesis Report. That gets very interesting as we follow Dr Reisinger's career path during that period, covering 2006-7.

We first come across him in 2006, when he assumes the designation "Met Office, UK." He then attends the climate change summit in Bali in December 2007. There we find him designated as "IPCC SYR", the "SYR" standing for "synthesis report". But the e-mail is the give-away - the address is "", which belongs to Pachauri's own organisation, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), in India.

But, if there is any doubt as to where Reisinger belongs, the IPCC itself solves the mystery, giving him the designation: "IPCC SYR TSU, Met Office Hadley Centre, UK, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India."

So, it would appear that one of the most powerful and influential men in the IPCC process, second only to Rajendra Pachauri, actually works directly for TERI India, which – like its master – has benefitted and stands further to benefit from climate alarmism.

Furthermore, this man also works close enough to the Hadley Centre - part of the UK Met Office - to be able to describe himself as working for it, this proving a link between TERI, Pachauri and the Met Office.

As for the money, DEFRA is the primary funder of the Hadley Centre, for which Reisinger claimed to work. If it wanted to pay him, could it not have remitted funds directly to that organisation? Equally, the UK contributes to the IPCC. Since Reisinger was working for the IPCC, could it not have sent money there, for him to be paid by the institution that was nominally employing him?

Instead – as we have seen – it pays Cambridge University, which pays TERI Europe. The destination of those funds, one can only assume, is TERI India. And this is hardly an unwarranted assumption. In the Synthesis Report, "gratitude" is expressed "particularly to the staff of the Technical Support Unit for the IPCC Synthesis Report in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi."

But if DEFRA is funding this unit, why not say so? And why the convoluted route for the payment? This is not the way government departments normally work - unless, of course, they have something to hide.

Interestingly, Reisinger is a man who has some firm views on climate science. "We should not judge whether the answers are good by whether they are convenient, or even whether they make intuitive sense; we should only rely on them if the process by which they were reached follows general, well-accepted principles of quality assurance."

By this, Reisinger means the setting up of expert panels whose reports "undergo an open, multiple peer-review process and that are connected with the highest quality international research," something he says in May 2009, eighteen months after the synthesis report had been delivered.

Representing the distillation of the combined output of the scientific working groups whose labour fills the pages of the main AR4 report, he would, no doubt, consider "quality assurance" for his own report absolutely vital.

Presumably – although not stated – the expert panels should be made up of scientists of high-standing who should – above all else – be absolutely impartial, their judgements entirely unclouded by commercial considerations and possible conflicts of interest.

If that is indeed a test, however, Reisinger fails it.


Part Two

Government projects costing respectively £1,436,162 and £30,417 miraculously shrink when MPs are formally told about them, to become a mere £543,816 and £5,800 – "losing" nearly a million pounds in the process.

Welcome to the second instalment of our look at the bizarre world of climate change politics, where nothing is what it seems and governments indulge in behaviour which, in other circumstances, would look very much like money laundering.

In our first piece, we introduced a new character to our growing cast of players – a certain Dr Andrew Reisinger. For his pivotal role in furthering the ambitions and interests of one R K Pachauri, he ought perhaps to be better known than he is.

We can see these two figures together – or at least at the same venue – on 8 November 2004, where they were both at the 32nd Session of the IPCC Bureau, held in Pachauri's adopted home town of New Delhi – a city which Reisinger was to get to known extremely well.

It was at that meeting, way back in 2004, that Pauchauri presented the Bureau with his "final proposal on scope and content of an AR4 Synthesis Report (SYR)." His outline was complete with "Options for a schedule for preparing an AR4 SYR and for managing the process, including resource implications."

Throughout the proceedings, Andy Reisinger was there on behalf of the New Zealand government, styling himself as belonging to the Climate Change Office, Ministry for the Environment. He was, however, doubtless fully attendant on the man who was a few years hence to become his boss and co-worker, Dr Pachauri.

The opportunity for Andy to jump ship was created the following year in Montreal when between the 26-28 September 2005 the full IPCC met in its 24th Session to discuss a report, submitted by Pachauri on the "Management plan for the AR4 Synthesis Report."

It says something of the persistence if Pachauri that the issue had already been raised at the 23rd Session of the IPCC held in Addis Ababa on 8 April 2005 (at which Reisinger was again present), when "progress" had been made.

The issue had been referred back to the Bureau in its 33rd Session also held in Addis Ababa, the record of which is curiously missing from the public domain. This had been followed by an "extremely helpful and effective meeting" held in Baarn, the Netherlands, on 7-8 July 2005.

That then, set the scene for the IPPC meeting in September in Montreal where Pachauri was able to set out to the management team his full plans for the production of his synthesis report, complete with costings and the formation of a Technical Support Unit (TSU). Then, he was able to tell his colleagues that it was "anticipated that the total cost of this TSU Head, including travel etc., would be taken care of by the Government of the UK."

Quite when this was agreed, we do not know – still less do we know on whose authority it was agreed. But the deal had been done.

The Management team was also "grateful to learn" that the two individuals to assist Pachauri, "kindly supported by the Government of India", were available to work in New Delhi. This, it was "felt", was the most desirable location for the TSU. Reflecting possible dissent, however, Pachauri conceded that the "next best location" would be Exeter.

Apart from the generosity (albeit unknowing) of the British and Indian taxpayers, Pachauri told his team that the estimated expenditure for preparation of the synthesis report over a period of three year - 2006-2008 - would be about £400,000. That included a sum of about £250,000 for publication and translation, leaving £150,000 for preparation – this for a 52-page summary of the main report.

Although, famously, Pachauri, was to say that he was not paid for his part in the report, the contract for "Layout and Graphics Design Support" was to be awarded to TERI Press - and, no doubt, there was an "overhead" component to the sums paid for staff.

Evidently so confident of the approval of his management team that on 21 September – a full five days before the start of the Montreal meeting - Mary Jean Burer, an official at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, was already circulating an e-mail advertising the vacancy for an "IPCC AR4 SYR TSU Head". The appointment was for 24 months beginning 1st March 2006, the "compensation package" commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the person selected.

This, of course, was the job for which Reisinger successfully applied, and its was then the job of the UK government to pay for him. This it did in an extremely round-about way. Tucked into a wider project to fund a "IPCC Technical Support Unit for Working Group II" – which it appears the UK also funded – is buried a reference to "support for ... preparation of the IPCC AR4 Synthesis report."

The combined cost, financed from DEFRA, is an eye-watering £1,436,162 – paid to the Met Office. There is, of course, no breakdown of the apportionment of costs between the two different projects. And, to get round the inconvenient fact that Dr Reisinger was working for IPCC, he is put on the books as a "contractor at the Met Office."

According to a post-project report produced under the Freedom of Information Act, however, things do not seem to have gone entirely to plan. Dr Andy Reisinger is indeed employed as a contractor at the Met Office.

But, we are told, this [only] involved provision of salary, accommodation, travel and subsistence and other work-related costs, within the period 18th April to 31st December 2006. After that, the TSU moved to New Delhi to be based close to Pachauri.

To the casual reader, this would seem to be the end of it. Apparently, Andy is off the books after 31 December 2006. But then there is that extraordinary payment of £30,417 to TERI Europe, which we explored yesterday - in addition to the money already paid.

In the interests of "accountability," however, these payments are notified to Parliament – sort of. They are tucked into a list of climate change projects worth £19,751,686, in a longer report entitled: "Ongoing Research and Development". The report is created on 21 May 2008 and the project coded GA01087 which actually cost £1,436,162 is entered at £543,816. The £30,417 paid to TERI Europe, coded GA01095, miraculously shrinks to £5,800. Nearly a million has gone adrift.

How much more money, under what headings, and from what sources, flowed through the system, is thus unknown. How much ended in the pocket of Dr Pachauri – or in the coffers of his beloved TERI – we have no means of knowing. But then the whole point of money laundering is to conceal sources, recipients and flows of money. If this wasn't money laundering, then it bears a very great similarity to it.

Despite his belief that speaking to the media "is a fundamental right for university scientists," it is no wonder that Dr Reisinger refuses to talk about it.