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Pachauri Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

North Carolina State University alumnus Dr. Rajendra Pachauri joined former Vice President Al Gore in Oslo, Norway, Monday to accept the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Pachauri accepted the prestigious award on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations organization he has chaired since 2002.

Pachauri, who also serves as director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), met with a delegation from NC State at the institute's headquarters in New Delhi, India, last week and said he would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with NC State. TERI conducts research and develops training and demonstration projects in the fields of energy, the environment and sustainable development.

Dr. Pachauri
Dr. Pachauri celebrates in New Delhi after learning that his organization, the IPCC, was selected to receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Pachauri obtained his graduate degrees from NC State, including a master's degree in industrial engineering in 1972, and doctorates in industrial engineering and economics in 1974. He also served at NC State as an assistant professor and visiting faculty member in the Department of Economics in the 1970s.

"I am happy to be able to say hello to my old friends," he told the NC State delegation.

Pachauri will visit NC State in February to participate in the university's annual Emerging Issues Forum. He said he would personally invite Chancellor James Oblinger to visit New Delhi next year to strengthen ties between NC State and India.

Those ties are already being forged. In addition to meeting with Pachauri, the NC State delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador David Campbell Mulford and visited with officials at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Ansal Institute of Technology Gurgaon, and the United States Educational Foundation in India. Dr. John G. Gilligan, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and Dr. Bailian Li, vice provost for international affairs, met with the chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Anil Kakodkar.

Pachauri was born in Nainital, India, in 1940. In addition to NC State, he has taught at universities in India and the United States, including Yale University. He was a research fellow at the World Bank in 1990, an adviser to the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for energy and sustainable management of natural resources from 1994 through 1999 and was elected chairman of the IPCC in 2002.

"As far as the world is concerned, I think it's a very clear signal that the Nobel Prize Committee is clearly indicating that climate change is something that needs attention," Pachauri said following the announcement of the award. "It's a serious problem, and it therefore requires urgent attention, from the world and the global community."

The IPCC, an international panel comprising 3,000 atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, ice specialists, economists and other experts, is the world's top scientific authority on global warming and its impact.

"The IPCC's strength lies in the processes and procedures that it follows," Pachauri said. "Most important is its ability of carrying out rigorous scientific assessment, which undergoes the scrutiny of government representatives and therefore is accepted by governments.

"There is no other body in the world that is able to meet these twin objectives simultaneously."