Rajendra Pachauri, head of the United Nation's IPCC Climate Change panel, who was under scrutiny for allegedly receiving payments from private companies, has been cleared of the allegations by an independently conducted review conducted by KPMG, announced on 30 Mar 2010. For press summaries see HERE and HERE. The actual KPMG document is HERE. And HERE is the apology published by the UK Telegraph:
Dr Pachauri - Apology
On 20 December 2009 we published an article about Dr Pachauri and his business interests. It was not intended to suggest that Dr Pachauri was corrupt or abusing his position as head of the IPCC and we accept KPMG found Dr Pachauri had not made "millions of dollars" in recent years. We apologise to Dr Pachauri for any embarrassment caused.
Why did the Telegraph issue this apology? Because this newspaper published the original false accusation. Here is an account of this sordid affair by the journalist George Monbiot:
In December, the Sunday Telegraph carried a long and prominent feature written by Christopher Booker and Richard North, titled: Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri.
The subtitle alleged that Pachauri has been "making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies". The article maintained that the money made by Pachauri while working for other organisations "must run into millions of dollars".
It described his outside interests as "highly lucrative commercial jobs". It proposed that these payments caused a "conflict of interest" with his IPCC role. It also complained that we don't know "how much we all pay him" as chairman of the IPCC.
The story (which has subsequently been removed from the Sunday Telegraph's website) immediately travelled around the world. It was reproduced on hundreds of blogs. The allegations it contained were widely aired in the media and generally believed. For a while, no discussion of climate change or the IPCC appeared complete without reference to Pachauri's "dodgy" business dealings and alleged conflicts of interest.
There was just one problem: the story was untrue.
As for "how much we all pay him" as chairman of the IPCC, here is the full sum: