Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pachauri: TERI-Europe – the enigma (Part 4)

As we left it with our last piece, we were looking Dr R K Pauchauri's London enterprise, by the name of TERI Europe. Headquartered at 27 Albert Grove, Merton (pictured), it is a registered charity which declared to the Charity Commissioner a total of £24,000 (exactly) income for the three trading years ending in 2008, with an expenditure of exactly £16,100.

Yet this is also an organisation which took a contribution of £30,417 from DEFRA in that period, which exceeds the total income for a period of three years, against a high level of operational activity and additional, "generous support" from the Global Opportunities Fund of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Exact information on income, however, remains frustratingly – if predictably – difficult to obtain. We have written to TERI Europe director (and company secretary) Ritu Kumar, asking for further details of their accounts, to which we are entitled under Charity law. In response, Ms Kumar (who does not have a PhD) has elected to make use of the full two month period of grace allowed under the law before furnishing the accounts and annual reports.

In this fourth piece on TERI-Europe, therefore, what we are building a picture of the operations of TERI-Europe as best we can from open source material. By this means, we aim to show that the level of activity could not possibly be supported by the declared income and expenses. From that stems an entirely reasonable assumption, that details of some transactions have been wrongfully (and illegally) concealed, keeping the turnover below £10,000 which exempts the organisation from filing accounts and reports with the Charity Commission.

So far, I have positively identified 47 specific activities/projects, which are listed below in rough date order. There are many more, but such is the incoherence of the reporting, and the multiplicity of sources, with different players, networks and "partners" involved, that it is difficult to assemble clear details of the many others.

Not least is the habit of these environmental organisations of forming ad hoc coalitions, primarily as "funding vehicles", where the identities of the primary contractors (and beneficiaries) are obscured. The survey is further complicated be the relationship between TERI Europe and its parent body in India, where TERI Europe seems in some cases to be an agency for the Indian operation, taking on projects and contracts which are largely executed by TERI personnel in India.

However, what we have is clearly sufficient to prove the point - that TERI Europe operates at a level which could not even begin to be sustained by the meagre income publicly declared. Thus, this is the list so far:

1. Global Commons Institute in London.

Creation on 24 of December 1999 of an organisation with the informal title, "The Global Commons Network" (GCN). Ritu Kumar involved.

2. Developing clean development mechanism projects for renewable energy technologies.

Project entitled "Solving the CDM Maze for Renewable Energy Technologies in India".

Commenced in 2000 and was sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the British government. Implemented jointly by TERI-Europe, London; TERI, India; the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), UK; AEA Technology, UK; Renewable Energy Systems Ltd, UK; and ABB Alstom Power, UK. Report in June 2003. HM Treasury report, also in 2003, culminating in a National Strategy Study (NSS) on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) conducted by TERI India with a report in 2005.

3. Conference: Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.

Held 7-9 February 2001. Entitled "Poverty: the global challenge for society, industry, scientists and civil society. Organised by TERI India, partnered by the Government of Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the International Development Research Centre, United Nations Development Programme, India and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Switzerland. Speaker: Ms Ritu Kumar, TERI Europe

4. WREN International Seminar - Renewable Energy: Major Environmental Option for Sustainable Development.

Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, UK, 19 - 25 August 2001. Part one: Climate Change & Sustainable Development: Speakers, Prof Marco Sala, Prof Phil Eames, Dr Robert Critoph and Dr Caroline Livingstone. A workshop on Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Options organized by Dr Ritu Kumar with speakers: Mr Michael Jefferson; Mr Steve Drummond, and Dr Ritu Kumar.

5. European Union Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Cross- Cultural Perspective.

Wednesday 21 November 2001, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Speaker: Ms. R. Kumar Consultant, Commonwealth Science Council, Director TERI-Europe.

6. Corporate Responsibility in South Asia.

TERI-Europe with the New Academy of Business carried out a major exercise to document corporate responsibility practices in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka with a view to developing training modules for companies and academic institutes on environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

As part of this programme, a poll conducted by TERI-Europe has revealed a compelling agenda for corporations in India to demonstrate their social responsibilities. The poll of over 1200 individuals in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Tiruppur surveyed the perceptions and expectations of workers, company executives, and the general public towards business in India. This poll was the first of its kind to include workers in a survey of corporate responsibility, thereby giving a unique balance to the results.

The results of the poll were presented in a report Altered Images: understanding and encouraging corporate responsibility in India. Reported in 16 January 2002.

This project was supported by the UK Department for International Development's Asia Division.

7. EPTSD Dialogue/Report: Promoting Sustainable Trade in Textiles and Clothing.

An international dialogue promoting sustainable trade in textiles and clothing was held in London on 24-25 January 2002. The dialogue was sponsored by WWF International, Trade and Investment Unit, under its Expert Panel on Trade and Sustainable Development (EPTSD) project.

Report also produced by WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature published in March 2002, which lists TERI Europe as a participant in the "dialogue" and includes a contribution from Ritu Kumar. Financially supported by the Environment Ministries of Norway and the Netherlands.

8. IPIECA Stakeholder Dialogue: International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association, 22-24 April 2003, Durdent Court – UK, with final report, 5 June 2003.

The report summarizes the discussion that took place at the stakeholder dialogue sponsored by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental and Conservation Association (IPIECA), at Durdent Court outside London, United Kingdom, 22-24 April. The dialogue was convened to explore issues surrounding the social impact of the oil and gas industry in its areas of operation.

The report presents a summary of the views exchanged during the dialogue and has been reviewed by all participants. Consistent with the application of Chatham House Rule during the course of the dialogue, no comments are attributed either to individuals or institutions. Rita Kumar, TERI, listed as an attendee.

9. Symposium: Challenges ahead on the road to Cancún.

16, 17 and 18 June 2003, World Trade Organization, Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland. Panellist: Ms. Ritu Kumar Environmental Economist, described as Consultant to the Commonwealth Science Council.

10. International Conference: Towards Sustainable Product Design.

27-28 October 2003, Nordic Sea Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden. Speaker: Ritu Kumar, Director, TERI (Europe), UK. Developing world perspective.

Organised by the Centre for Sustainable Design. Sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers, Swedish Business Development Agency (NUTEK), and the Swedish Ministry of Environment. Supported by: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Switzerland Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK Sustainable Trade & Innovation Centre (STIC), Netherlands.

11. Book: Something to Believe In - Creating Trust and Hope in Organisations: Stories of Transparency, Accountability and Governance.

Based in part on an international action research project, conducted in partnership with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) (in Brazil, Ghana, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa), research with women workers conducted for the UK Department for International Development in factories and plantations of Nicaragua and another project involving collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Europe and local partners in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

Chapter on "Partnering trust: India's corporate social responsibility heritage," by Viraal B Balsari, TERI-Europe. Published by Greanleaf, December 2003.

12. International conference - Development cooperation and corporate social responsibility: exploring the role of development cooperation agencies.

Held in Stockholm 22-23 March 2004. Workshop 3 refers: CSR standards and norms in developing countries. Chair: Nigel Twose, The World Bank Group. Rapporteur: Ritu Kumar, TERI-Europe. Organised by the Swedish foreign ministry, in collaboration with IIED, IBLF, Sida and the World Bank.

Report subsequently produced: "Exploring the role of development cooperation agencies in corporate responsibility" by Tom Fox and Dave Prescotti.

13. WTO Public Symposium: "Multilateralism at a Crossroads".

25 - 27 May 2004, Centre William Rappard, 154, Rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. Speaker Ritu Kumar – described as Exec Director, STIC.

14. Project: Sustainable building design: strengthening capacities for planning and implementation.

Part of the EU-funded Asia Urbs programme, this project involved six partners: the Institut Català d'Energia, Spain; the London Borough of Merton; the Haryana State Energy Development Agency (HAREDA), India; the Institut Cerdà, Spain; Renue, UK and TERI.

The reported cost of the project was €715,710 with the EU contributing 65 percent of the total. ICAEN, the LB Merton and HAREDA contributed the remaining 35 percent. The EU grant in aid to HAREDA and TERI was €127,332.50. The split is not known.

Claimed as a TERI Europe project in its annual report for financial year ending 30 June 2004, most of its component of the work seems to have been executed by TERI India.

The aims were "to enhance mutual understanding and awareness between Asia and Europe by supporting urban development projects that are implemented jointly by Asian and European local governments."

The overall objective of the project "Sustainable building design in Gurgaon: strengthening capacities for planning and implementation" was to improve the urban environment in Gurgaon district of Haryana (location of the TERI "retreat" building") through the introduction of sustainability measures in building design.

Its ultimate aim was to assist the local authority in Gurgaon to develop building plans based on the concepts of energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and sound water and waste management practices.

The first Steering Committee meeting was held in Barcelona on 3-4 July 2002 and the last activity recorded was May 2004 although the project seems then to have been ongoing, awaiting the production of a manual.

15. Energy efficiency and building design.

TERI-Europe assisted the London Borough of Merton in organizing a major seminar on energy efficiency and in incorporating renewable energy technologies in building design. The seminar was part of the activities of the EU funded Asia Urbs project on building design. Date not known - assumed to be 2003/4.

16. INSTEP in the UK.

TERI-Europe hosted an event on INSTEP (Integrating New and Sustainable Technologies for Elimination of Poverty) in March 2005, in collaboration with the India Environment Trust, London. Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, TERI and Dr Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, TERI presented TERI's INSTEP programme to an audience of NRIs and British persons with an interest in development and poverty reduction.

17. Project: Elaborating a research agenda on climate change and development.

Joint project with the International Institute for Environment and Development, funded by Dfid. Culminated in a "Consultative Workshop on Climate Change and Development" at the TERI office location in New Delhi, 4 April, 2005.

18. Symposium: Business Action for Development.

24-25 May 2005, Buckinghamshire, UK. The International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) convened this symposium focusing on the role of business in reducing poverty and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in May 2005. TERI Europe included as participants.

19. Ford (Motor Company) Sustainability Report 2004/5: Report Review Committee.

The committee met twice in person (in Dearborn, Michigan, in April 2005 and in Boston, Massachusetts, in August 2005) and communicated extensively with Ford and one another by email and teleconference before, between and after the two meetings. RRC input had significant impact on the content and structure of the report.

Ritu Kumar, Teri Europe, was a member of the Committee.

20. Conference of the Parties, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Eleventh session, Montreal, 28 November to 9 December 2005. Participant: Ms Ritu Kumar.

21. The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII).

Initiated by Munich Re in April 2005 at seminar on Climate Insurance resented by the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Free University Amsterdam. It is launched "in response to the growing realization that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change."

The initiative brings together insurers, experts on climate change and adaptation, NGOs, and policy researchers intent on finding solutions to the risks posed by climate change. MCII provides a forum and gathering point for insurance-related expertise on climate change impact issues. TERI Europe is a founder member.

Followed up by a seminar on 5 December 2005, in Montréal, Canada. Peter Höppe, Munich Re notes the increase in extreme weather events and economic losses. He says the Initiative will help address the consequences of disasters in poor countries.

Christoph Bals, Germanwatch, said the "pillars" of a climate insurance fund could be providing compensation for uninsurable slow onset climate change risk and supporting risk financing. Ritu Kumar, Teri-Europe, said risk management in India is reactivated. She called for the improvement of loss data collection for insurance companies and the increase in public disaster reinsurance capacity.

22. Site visit: Argent Energy biofuel plant in Motherwell, Scotland.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri accompanied by Dr (sic) Ritu Kumar, September 2005.

23. Conference: "Investing in the Future: a European Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Finance Sector", attended by Dr Ritu Kumar and
Ms Rochelle Mortier. 1 & 2 December 2005, Riverbank Park Plaza, London.

24. Project: Production of the IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report.

Funding from DEFRA to TERI Europe to cover salary and travel cost of the head of unit responsible to produce a Synthesis Report of the IPCC AR4. From: 2006 to 2007. Cost: £30,417. Paid via Cambridge University.

25. Report: SME Clusters and Responsible Competitiveness in Developing Countries. Produced by AccountAbility with UNIDO. Consultee: Ritu Kumar, TERI Europe. Published January 2006.

26. International Symposium: Climate Policy in the Coming Phases of the Kyoto Process: Targets, Instruments, and the Role of Cap and Trade Schemes.

20-21 February 2006, Brussels. Potsdam Institute Climate Impact Research (PIK). Ritu Kumar, Director TERI Europe, UK, speaker on "The role of India in international climate policy."

27. Project: Stimulating Investors engagement with Corporate Social Responsibility in India.

Implemented by TERI Europe. The project purpose was to encourage the Indian business community to adopt Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) into its corporate strategy. Amongst other activities, TERI held discussions with the National Stock Exchange, Mumbai on the possibility of developing a CSR index for India.

Duration: April 2006 – June 2007. Funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

28. Conference: "Kyoto and Beyond: a Global Strategy"

Commonwealth Club, London, 18 May 2006 - Organised by Save our World. Contribution made by Ritu Kumar (Director of TERI-Europe).

29. Conference: Environmental Requirements and Market Access for Developing Countries: How to Turn Challenges into Opportunities.

Geneva, 3-4 July 2006, Conference Room XXIII, E-building, Palais des Nations. Annual Session of UNCTAD's Consultative Task Force on Environmental Requirements and Market Access for Developing Countries. Wrap-up Workshop of the UK-DFID-funded UNCTAD Project "Building Capacity for Improved Policy Making and Negotiation on Key Trade and Environment Issues".

Working Group 1 (room XXIII, E-building): Key findings and lessons of UNCTAD activities in the electrical and electronic sector. Moderator: Ms. Ritu KUMAR, Director, TERI-Europe.

30. Insurance and climate change.

A study investigating the exposure and potential of the Indian insurance industry to cover risks related to climate change is presently being undertaken in collaboration with the Insurance Regulation and Development Agency, India, and the Association of British Insurers. The project is funded by the DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Commenced March 2005 and completed September 2006.

31. Project: Developing country negotiators.

Fronted by Centre for Clean Air Policy USA (CCAP) as a joint project, TERI Europe (with some work carried out by TERI India) carried out a project "to assist in developing country negotiators through analysis and dialogue." The objective was to strengthen the capacity of four developing countries (Brazil, China, India, and Mexico) to participate in negotiations on future actions under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

Funded by Dfid and reported by TERI-Europe for its 2004-5 accounting period. Reference made to the Centre for Clean Air Policy in a Dfid report, but TERI Europe not mentioned. Final report prepared by CCAP in November 2006.

32. Project: Asia Eco-Design Electronics (AEDE).

TERI Europe is a major partner in this project. Amongst other activities, on 5 December 2006 Ritu Kumar moderated a panel discussion at the Hotel Silken 11–19 Boulevard Charlemagne, Belaymont, Brussels, Belgium.

AEDE is funded by the European Union as part of the Asia-Pro Eco Programme. The overall goal is to assist the Asian electronics and electrical suppliers to meet the challenges of existing and forthcoming EC and Japanese product-related environmental legislation and emerging CSR developments.

Originally announced on 10 April 2006, this is a €500,000 plus project led by the Centre for Sustainable Design at University College for the Creative Arts (UCCA) in Farnham, Surrey.

It has six partners: the Department of Environmental Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden; TERI-Europe, UK/India; the Electronic Component Industries Association (ELCINA), Indi; School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), Renmin University of China (RUC), China; Electrical and Electronics Institute, Thailand; Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, India.

33. Conference: India's Sustainability Challenge.

Organised by the Institute of Public Policy Research in London on 14 December 2006. This event, part of IPPR's India Year and Defra's Sustainable Development Dialogues, was attended by the David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Ritu Kumar, Director, The Energy and Resources Institute, London, was one of the speakers, alongside Elliot Morley MP.

34. Project: Facilitating sustainable trade in the textile and clothing sector.

TERI-Europe completed a comprehensive review of environmental and social requirements faced by textile and clothing exporters, exporting to the EU. This information has been compiled in a CD Rom, which contains a database on environmental and social requirements for the textile and clothing sector and provides exporters with a ready tool to access information on technologies, retail sources, and trade links.

TERI's objective was to build capacity of SME clusters in the leather and textiles sectors to face the challenges and benefit from the opportunities created by trade liberalisation. The project team conducted needs assessments and reviewed existing policies before holding stakeholders' workshops. Two workshops were organised, one in Mumbai and one Chennai to present the findings of the survey. The team is now working on a paper to identify areas for improvement of trade opportunities for SMEs in those sectors.

The scheme included pilot demonstrations on management of supply chains, as well as adherence to environmental, social, and trade regulations, which were conducted in two factories each in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.

Sponsored jointly by the EU and the Commonwealth Science Council. Duration: September 2004 – Dec 2006.

35. Conference: "Green light for change" Climate change, the Stern Review and what they mean for the Commonwealth.

Thursday 15 February 2007, 6pm at the Royal Commonwealth Society, London. Jointly organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Foundation. Speaker Ritu Kumar, Director (Europe) of The Energy and Resources Institute.

36. Sustainable Investment in India.

Announced as a project on 26 April 2006, this culminated in a report "SI2 - Sustainable Investment in India, - Sustainable development of portfolio investment in India's publicly listed companies."

Authored by Dan Siddy and Ritu Kumar, it was published as a 50-page document, stacked with detail, under the TERI-Europe brand, in May 2007, with the "generous support" of the Global Opportunities Fund of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

37. Conference: RSA/TEHELKA two-day summit of political, business and civil society leaders share their knowledge and experience of how to engage with and understand India.

7-8 June 2007 at The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce). The Challenge of India: Ritu Kumar speaker. Other speakers include J J Irani - Director, TATA Sons.

38. Report: Up in Smoke?

A study fronted by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with preparatory work funded by DEFRA.

Foreword by R K Pachauri and participation by TERI Europe. Reported on 20 November 2007 with environmental and development groups saying India should go all out to invest in clean technology even if it means incurring an estimated cost of $2 trillion.

The study was conducted by the coalition that included International Institute for Environment and Development, Oxfam International, TERI Europe and the World Wildlife Fund, "aimed at assessing the impacts of climate change on global efforts to reduce poverty."

39. EU Parliament Report: Climate Change and India: Impacts, Policy Responses and a Framework for EU-India Cooperation.

Completed in January 2008 by Dr (sic) Ritu Kumar.

40. TERI FES Forum on Climate Policy Dialogue Climate Change, Biodiversity and Food Security in Marine Environments.

The "TERI FES Forum on Climate Policy Dialogue" is a new format that invites policy makers and scholars from think tanks and academia in industrialized and developing countries to discuss key issues of global climate governance. Conference venues alternate between industrialized and developing countries. The launch of the Forum was held in Bonn 13-14 May 2008.

41. High-Level India-EU Dialogue – Solutions for Sustainability.

India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (TERI India office location) - 3-4 February 2009. Organiser and part of the supporting team: Ritu Kumar AGCC; Director of TERI-Europe.

42. Sustainable Investment in Brazil 2009.

Final Report April 2009. Prepared for International Finance Corporation (IFC)
A Member of the World Bank Group by TERI‐Europe. Written and edited by
Ritu Kumar and Dan Siddy.

43. Sustainable Investment in India 2009.

Final report May 2009 prepared for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group Prepared by TERI-Europe. Written and edited by Ritu Kumar and Dan Siddy, an associate fellow at TERI-Europe.

44. High-Level India-EU Dialogue.

The High-Level India-EU Dialogue is an "independent initiative" to promote joint action by India and the European Union on climate and clean development, as a step towards an equitable and effective global framework. This is the third high-level event.

Final report, London, 7-8 July 2009. Organised by Action for a Global Climate Community. Supported by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Oak Foundation.

45. Conference: Global Energy Challenge – Time to Act.

The Energy Conference of Verbund, 16 - 18 September 2009, Schloss Fuschl/Hof near Salzburg. Speaker Ritu Kumar on "Global responsibility". Also speaking: Peter Höppe, Head of Geo risks Research of Munich Re Group, Germany on "How much does climate change cost?"

46. Conference: Climate Change: India Policies and Perceptions.

In recognition of the global nature of the challenge of climate change and the many synergies and areas of potential collaboration between the UK and India, the City of London co-hosted a conference with HSBC, the London School of Economics and TERI Europe on 30 September 2009. This event took place at the London School of Economics and the keynote speaker was R K Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change & Director General, TERI.

47. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.

The Centre regards its mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research. Climate change is happening, it asserts, and it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that human activities are the main cause. The consequences of climate change could be enormous if we carry on with "business as usual." But it is not yet clear how our economic, social and political systems can respond to the challenge.

Ritu Kumar: Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI-Europe), London – member of the Steering Committee.

Recognising that this list is very far from complete, and many details could be added to existing entries, with clarifications made, we will revisit this post from time to time, and gradually improve the dossier.