New climate head denies US influence
"The IPCC is only a scientific body. It doesn't get into the question of commitments by different countries," Rajendra Pachauri, an engineer and economist who heads the Tata Energy Research Institute in Delhi, told Reuters this week, in what appears to be his first public statement since being elected on 19 April. "It doesn't concern itself with what country A or country B would do."
Pachauri's election as the first developing country representative to lead the panel was shrouded in controversy (see Head of climate panel pushed out). Environmentalists allege that the United States responded to pressure from the oil industry to oust former IPCC head Robert Watson — an outspoken critic of the US government's stance on climate change.
But Pachauri denies that oil companies have a direct influence in the IPCC. "All they can do is maybe pressure a few governments here and there."
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