The Sunday Times, 24 January 2010
The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.
It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC's 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming.
The IPCC had warned that climate change was likely to melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 - an idea considered ludicrous by most glaciologists. Last week a humbled IPCC retracted that claim and corrected its report.
Since then, however, The Sunday Times has discovered that the same bogus claim has been cited in grant applications for TERI.
One of them, announced earlier this month just before the scandal broke, resulted in a £310,000 grant from Carnegie.
An abstract of the grant application published on Carnegie's website said: "The Himalaya glaciers, vital to more than a dozen major rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people in South Asia, are melting and receding at a dangerous rate.
"One authoritative study reported that most of the glaciers in the region "will vanish within forty years as a result of global warming, resulting in widespread water shortages,"
The Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into "the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region" as the glaciers began to disappear. Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect.
The money was initially given to the Global Centre, an Icelandic Foundation which then channelled it, with Carnegie's involvement, to TERI.