The obscene carbon footprint of a top greenie

A previous Whaleoil article showcasing the hypocrisy of tub-thumping climate botherers at the UN is ‘’Green activists who live the high-flying life on the UN dime’.  Erik Solheim is one person of interest in the article. He was given the boot for the excesses Lushington D. Brady refers to.

Caption: Hardworking climate activists trudge from one gruelling UN summit to another.

Don’t do what I do, do what I say!

Until he was finally sent packing, this is the message that UN boss Erik Solheim gave to anyone who noticed.  His air miles are terrific though, which must be some consolation for being fired. Breitbart reports Quote.

The head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been forced to resign after building up an “obscene” carbon footprint. Former Norwegian diplomat turned green UN boss Erik Solheim racked up so many air miles at such enormous expense that disgusted donor nations had started to withhold funds.

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.” End of quote.

Solheim just wasn’t clever enough in the troughing department; he made the fatal mistake of being too greedy with travel and too careless about C02 emissions. More use of a bicycle and the donors would have stayed put and he might still be in the top job.

It should be mandatory for greenies to rely on bicycles. On this basis, our very own green Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter might think of applying for the top position Solheim has just vacated. Although on second thought she may be overqualified in the bicycle department. Solheim certainly enjoyed plane travel. Quote.

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.” End of quote.

Well, you can’t begrudge business and first-class travel when you are away that much, can you? The wonder is that he managed to do any work at all.  Turns out he employed a coterie of friends to do it for him. However, they didn’t do a very good job of watching his back.  Quote.

A UN staff union leader called some of the revelations “mind-blowing” and a prominent climate scientist accused Solheim of “obscene CO2 hypocrisy”.

Solheim took the job in 2016 and quickly outraged colleagues with his nepotism and his profligacy. Among the charges levelled against him:

  • Wasting time and money by rebranding UNEP “UN Environment”

  • Parachuting his son into a UNEP internship, “jumping the queue of hundreds of Kenyan students”

  • Allegedly “taking his son on a trip to China and diverting another trip for personal reasons and not paying the money back to the UN”.

  • Trading the gift of free bicycles to UNEP from the boss of MoBike in return for giving his organization a “champion of the earth” award.

  • Spending Euros 500,000 of the UNEP budget sponsoring Volvo Ocean Races

  • Creating 25 positions in the UNEP executive office (from a previous 7) at an additional cost to the department of $1.1 million a year. “ End of quote.

An excerpt from a letter to Solheim from a disgruntled UNEP staffer criticised him for giving jobs to his friends rather than appointing on merit, saying he wasted USD 205,600 by an unnecessary placement.  Solheim was quite the little kingdom builder, bringing his own team into UNEP and ignoring incumbents. Quote.

You are hardly available to provide leadership to the organisation as you are constantly traveling together with your special assistants most specifically Hao Chen.

Millions of resources have been lost in your business class travels, some of which are not necessary.” End of quote.

Breitbart observed the amount of waste at the UN.  Quote.

Some cynics used to the United Nations’ ways might wonder what the fuss about. Isn’t epic waste, corruption and imperial high-handedness exactly what is required of a senior UN functionary?

Still, one thing is for certain. Solheim’s departure will alter not one jot the most fundamental problem with the United Nations Environment Programme: it is a total waste of around $600 million a year.“  End of quote.

And so say all of us – not that this will make one iota of difference to the worshippers at the foot of the temple of the UN.


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