Obituary: Rajendra K. Pachauri

It is with deep sorrow that the IPCC has learned of the death of our former Chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri, who passed away on 13 February 2020 in New Delhi at the age of 79. 

Dr Pachauri was Chair from 2002 to 2015, during the fourth and fifth assessment cycles. Under his leadership the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and delivered the Fifth Assessment Report, the scientific foundation of the Paris Agreement.

Dr Pachauri, universally known as Patchy, was an internationally recognized voice on environmental and policy issues, and through his tireless leadership of the IPCC the issue of human-caused climate change became recognized as a matter of vital global concern.

As Chair, Dr Pachauri led the preparation of the Synthesis Reports of the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report and Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. During the third assessment cycle he was one of the IPCC Vice-Chairs, serving on the Core Writing Team of Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report.

Dr Pachauri was born in Nainital, India, on 20 August 1940.

His academic and professional career was devoted to energy issues and the environmental impacts of the energy cycle. He studied engineering at La Martiniere College in Lucknow and at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur. He pursued his studies at North Carolina State University, with a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering n 1972, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Economics in 1974. He co-authored over 130 papers and wrote or co-wrote over 25 books.

Dr Pachauri became Chief Executive of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi in 1981, leading TERI for more than three decades. His work at TERI contributed significantly to global sustainable development.