The Guardian reports:
The UN’s environment chief, Erik Solheim, has resigned following severe criticism of his global travels and internal rule-breaking which led some nations to withhold their funding.
The Guardian understands Solheim was asked to resign by the UN secretary general, António Guterres. Sources at the UN Environment Programme (Unep) said that countries unhappy with Solheim’s conduct were holding back tens of millions of dollars, threatening a financial crisis at the body.
A draft internal UN audit leaked to the Guardian in September found Solheim had spent almost $500,000 (£390,000) on air travel and hotels in just 22 months, and was away 80% of the time. The audit said this was a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to fighting climate change.
A UN staff union leader called some of the revelations “mind-blowing” and a prominent climate scientist accused Solheim of “obscene CO2 hypocrisy”.
It takes a lot of flights to chalk up half a million dollars of travel expenses. Surely he could have done more to save the planet by taking the train, instead of flying.