Commemorating 20 Years of the Summit Series: Remembering Dr R K Pachauri

In his opening remarks, Mr Nitin Desai said that it was a pleasure for him to be speaking on the commemoration of 20 years of the summit and yet a sad occasion as Dr R K Pachauri is no more with us. He felt that it is important to realize Dr R K Pachauri’s contribution as the sustainable development summit is his creation. His thought and vision behind the summit were fruitful. Mr Desai also stressed that the challenges we face in terms of sustainable development is not just a challenge for the governments to negotiate but also for climate activists, research institutions, NGOs, and other individuals. The whole idea is to provide a platform for these people to come together for networking, forming partnerships, and launching projects. So, we should remember Dr Pachauri’s role in bringing everything together long before people started talking about it globally.

After a video remembrance on Dr R K Pachauri, Dr Ajay Mathur requested people, who have at some point of time taken part in the sustainable development summit, to share their thoughts. Mr Erik Solheim found it hard to believe that Dr Pachauri passed away far too early. He mentioned that Dr Pachauri had played a critical role in climate change and the environment sphere. Mr Solheim emphasized that Dr Pachauri was not only a great intellectual but also a practical man. He developed practical energy solutions for the poor. His great work towards humanity would always be remembered.

Mr Uday Khemka, while fondly remembering Dr Pachauri said, he had a great influence on his life as a climate policymaker. Mr Khemka expressed his admiration for Dr Pachauri in terms of his contribution to the world through leadership roles at TERI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and WSDS (earlier called DSDS). He felt that Dr Pachauri had tremendous ability to motivate and bring together like-minded gatherings of climate warriors to focus on the looming climate challenges.

Prof. Björn Stigson lovingly remembered Dr R K Pachauri as he has fond memories of participating in the Summit, which has been an inspiration. He hoped that TERI would continue hosting the Summit for the progression of the global sustainable development.

Prof. Nebojsa Nakicenovic felt that the 20th anniversary of WSDS is an apt occasion to celebrate Dr Pachauri’s incredible life and journey. He lives in our memories through his exemplary work and dedication, and his legacy would always remain with us. Prof. Nakicenovic highlighted that it was under Dr Pachauri that the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize, which was a monumental achievement