Former Norwegian green politician spent “half a million dollars flying around the planet.”
Erik Solheim, the head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), has been forced to resign after an internal audit report questioning his huge travel expense surfaced in the media. Solheim, a green politician and former Norwegian Environment Minister, had spent almost half a million dollars jet-setting around the world.
Solheim stepped down after cerain UN member states threatened to withhold funding over the latest revelations. According to a UK media report: “Countries unhappy with Solheim’s conduct were holding back tens of millions of dollars, threatening a financial crisis at the body.”
“After deep reflection and in close consultation with the [UN] Secretary-General, I am stepping down as Executive Director of UN Environment with effect from 22 November 2018,” Solheim said in a written statement.
Solheim was among the leading critics of President Donald Trump’s environmental policy. When President Trump announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord last year, Solheim warned the U.S. that it will “shoot itself in the foot” by quitting the agreement.
The UK newspaper Daily Telegraph reported the details of UNEP chief’s frequent flyer scandal:
UN environment chief Erik Solheim has resigned after a report found he had claimed almost $500,000 in air travel and hotel expenses in 22 months.
The internal UN report revealed that Mr Solheim, a former Norwegian environment minister, had travelled excessively at a time of budget cuts at the world body.
He has been accused of disregard for the environmental impact of aviation carbon emissions, after travelling on 529 of the 668 days covered in the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) audit leaked to the Guardian in September.
The report said Mr Solheim’s expenses were a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to combating climate change.
Last June, when President Trump pointed out that the U.S. was being made to pay billions of dollar under the Paris accord whereas China and India, major global polluters, were being let off the hook without any financial downsides, the UN environment chief called these allegations “ridiculous” and “absolutely wrong.”
Given Solheim’s track record, his loss will be most felt in China and India. The leading Indian business daily Financial Express called the outgoing UN official “a votary of India and China.” The newspaper described him as a “green politician” who had been “inspired by the life and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the global fight against climate change.”
A stinging rebuke came from the German state broadcaster DW News: “For all his talk about the urgency of tackling environmental problems such as the species extinction crisis, plastic pollution and climate change, the last thing you would expect is that in just 22 months, he spent nearly half a million dollars jet-setting around the globe.”
The latest UN scandal once again shows the hypocrisy of the globalist elite who fail to practice what they preach. While demanding the miners and factory workers in the U.S. to pay for the “climate sin” (an actual term propagated by the environmentalist left), they live a life of excess at pubic cost. These revelations also vindicate Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the unfair Paris accord and put the freed-up resources to better use.
[Cover image via YouTube]
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