The Heat Is Online

In Memoriam: Anil Agarwal

On Jan. 2, 2002, Anil Agarwal, founder and director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, passed away.

Anil Agarwal combined an uncompromising critical intelligence with an extraordinary depth of compassion and humanity.

At the international climate negotiations, Anil’s perspective combined an absolute demand for real climate protection with the unfettered right of poor countries to grow and develop sustainably without limit.

While diplomats and lobbyists continue to ignore the oncoming disintegration of the global community from escalating climate change with endless evasive games, Anil Agarwal represented the humanity’s conscience.

Both personally and professionally, his absence will be deeply felt for a very long time.

Here is the formal announcement from CSE:


NEW DELHI, Jan. 2, 2002: Anil Agarwal, 54, Chairperson of the New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment, passed away in Dehradun today after a prolonged illness. He was undergoing treatment for cancer and asthma, and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Agarwal, a mechanical engineer trained at IIT Kanpur, began his journalistic career as a science correspondent for the Hindustan Times in 1973. He was the Editor of "Down To Earth," India's premier science and environment magazine. He has written for several international publications including the London-based journals Earthscan and New Scientist. He has written and edited more than 20 books on science and environment in India.

In 1980, Agarwal founded the Centre for Science and Environment, one of the world's most dynamic NGOs.

From 1983 to 1987, Agarwal chaired the world's largest network of environmental NGOs, the Nairobi-based Environment Liasion Centre. In 1987, the United Nations Environment Programme elected him to its Global 500 Honor Roll for his work in the national and international arena. The Indian Government has also honored him with Padma Shri and Padma Bushan for his work in environment and development.