Rajendra Pachauri, 79, Dies; Led Nobel-Winning Climate Agency


“This led to escalated and undue criticism of the organization he chaired,” Dr. van Ypersele wrote.

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri was born in Aug. 20, 1940, in Nainital, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. He would later say that the stunning setting gave him a strong affection for nature and made him sensitive to the fragility of the natural world.

He worked variously as an engineer, scientist and economist, with an academic career that brought him to the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, in Bihar state, and to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering in 1972 and a joint doctorate in industrial engineering and economics in 1974.

In 1981 he became chief executive of what would become known as the Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI. Over his career, he wrote or co-wrote some 25 books.

Dr. Panchauri’s survivors include his wife, Saroj (Puri) Pachauri, a doctor and researcher on family planning and reproductive health; two daughters, Rashmi Pachauri-Rajan and Shonali Pachauri; and a son, Ash Pachauri.

Dr. Pachauri, known familiarly as Patchy, was a vegetarian, both because of his religious commitment as a Hindu and because of his views on the impact of meat production on the climate. He recommended vegetarianism as a way to fight global warming.

“In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time,” he said in a 2008 interview with The Guardian, “it clearly is the most attractive opportunity.”

In an interview after the 2007 Peace Prize was announced, Dr. Pachauri urged the nations of the world to act quickly to stop climate change.

“The price of waiting,” he said, “is enormous.”

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