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The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), of which Dr Rajendra Pachauri is the director-general, has given corporate awards to companies such as Pepsi and Honda, as well as Indian businesses. Those same companies have given financial backing to Teri through grants or paid-for consultancy work.

According to Teri’s own website, Dr Pachauri and his wife are on the jury panel for the 2010 awards. Dr Pachauri has been on the jury panel for the awards in previous years.

The disclosure will lead to further questions over possible conflict of interest against Dr Pachauri, whose position as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is already under threat over errors in its reports.

The Department for International Development (DfID) has pledged to give Teri up to £10 million in grants over five years but will subject the institute to an “institutional assessment”, expected to take at least five months, before handing over any of the money.

Among the companies that have received Teri corporate awards is Hero Honda, a joint venture between the Japanese car company and an Indian firm that manufactures millions of motorbikes every year.

It is described on the institute’s website as a major sponsor and was joint second in Teri’s Environmental Excellence Award in 2008.

Another major sponsor, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2004.

PepsiCo India, which received first prize in 2009 for its business response to Aids, pays Teri for a project studying water quality in a local community.

It has also emerged that Teri’s biggest single sponsor, BP India, which has provided £6 million, paid for dinner and drinks at an event publicising Dr Pachauri’s debut novel. A BP spokesman said it was entirely legitimate to fund the dinner, the company having enjoyed a “long association with Dr Pachauri”.

He confirmed that the firm gave Teri $9.5 million (£6.1 million) between 2006 and 2009 for planting 8,000 hectares of jatropha, a type of bush, as part of a bio-diesel research project.

The Sunday Telegraph, 7 February 2010