Environmentalist Rajendra Shende unanimously elected to UN expert panel

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) One hundred and ninety-seven countries have unanimously approved Indias nomination of Rajendra Shende as a senior expert to the United Nations Environment Programmes Technology and Economic Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol — the most successful global treaty aimed at protecting the ozone layer.

Shende, a former UN diplomat on global environmental treaties and presently Chairman of the TERRE Policy Centre, was seconded by the US, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

“The universal approval of Shende by the countries, that included China and Pakistan, is considered a welcome development for India and its leadership role under climate change,” a statement said.

The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel is the UNEP’s overarching body of that assesses emerging alternative technologies in five main industrial sectors that safeguard the ozone layer and climate system. It provides the cost benefit analysis and policy relevant information for the countries to take transformative decisions towards sustainable development.

Shende’s approval came at a just-concluded meeting in Rwandan capital Kigali where negotiators from 197 countries reached a legally-binding agreement to counter climate change by cutting the global use of the powerful planet-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air-conditioners, refrigerators, foams and aerosols.

“This has been considered as the Montreal Protocol would shift its focus from protection of the ozone Layer to climate change issues of reducing global warming, enhancing energy efficiency and reducing pollution. TEAP would advise, on transfer and development of alternative technologies and estimate level of financial assistance needed for the developing countries,” the statement said.

Shende is a gradate from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay and worked in private sector before joining United Nations in Paris till 2011. He was coordinating lead author of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report of 2007, a co-winner of the Nobel Peace prize.

He has won two awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) for ozone layer protection and then climate protection. As an expert reviewer, he has also been associated with number of UN assessment reports, including the Science Assessment Panel of the World Meteorological organization in Geneva.

Shende currently leads a not-for-profit think tank and action platform focused on energy and food security.



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