Pachauri To Head New Climate and Energy Institute at Yale

Rajendra K. Pachauri will lead the newly established Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI), University President Richard C. Levin has announced.

Pachauri has chaired the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and has been director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) since 2001. He will retain these positions while taking up his new half-time position at Yale. Pachauri has been an active leader in the global climate policy debate and played a major role in laying the groundwork for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

“We are fortunate to attract one of the world’s foremost climate change experts to lead this ambitious new institute,” Levin said. “No one has a more comprehensive grasp of the science and policy of climate change or has done more to bring attention to this urgent issue.”

Pachauri accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 on behalf of the IPCC, which shared the honor with former Vice President Al Gore. Under his leadership, TERI has become India’s most prominent center for research and education in the field of sustainable development. He has authored 23 books and more than 100 academic articles, and has held numerous positions at academic and research institutes. In addition to having taught a semester at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2000, he received an honorary degree from Yale in 2008. In 2008, the government of India awarded Pachauri the Padma Vibhushan, among the nation’s highest civilian honors.

Levin made the announcement today at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, where he is speaking along with Pachauri.

“Climate change has now become an important part of government policy worldwide and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute has enormous potential to fill the need for objective analysis of mitigation options,” Pachauri said. “As an institution with a global focus and international reach, Yale can also pursue research on impacts of climate change in different parts of the world and develop suitable adaptation measures, particularly in the most vulnerable regions. Institutions like YCEI are needed to find new directions and solutions that will address human-induced climate change and move us
toward sustainable development.’

YCEI will provide seed grants, support postgraduate study, sponsor conferences and workshops, and foster interdisciplinary research spanning from basic atmospheric science to public policy. Nearly 100 Yale scientists, engineers, physicians, social scientists and policy experts have joined together to launch the enterprise.

Initial projects will focus on a diverse array of topics. Examples include forecasting climate variability and its impacts on water supplies, studying the spread of infectious diseases, searching for microbial-based alternative fuels, and the science and economics of carbon sequestration.

Long term, YCEI will support research and outreach, international collaboration, partnerships with business and industry, and green design efforts that can be implemented and tested within Yale and the surrounding region.

To learn more about the Yale Climate and Energy Institute’s mission, long term vision and potential projects, download the accompanying PowerPoint file.

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