SEPTEMBER 15, 2018


There is a growing talk about reckless travel by the new head of the Environmental Program Eric Solheim, former Minister of Environment from Norway. An auditor's report shows that since his appointment in 2016, he has spent 529 out of 600 days traveling.

The expense equals more than half a million dollars, that is besides the harm done to the environment from carbons from airplane travel. Even Norwegian papers criticized him for excessive personal travel with lack of documentation that they are work related.

Apparently, frequent trips to Paris, where he once lived, are listed under "bilateral meetings." Only 14 days were listed as a holiday. 76 days are not accounted for at all.

Mr. Solheim gave permission to two of his senior staff to operate from Paris while officially stationed in Nairobi. That, as OIOS indicated, is a violation of U.N. regulations. It repeatedly tried in vain to meet with Mr. Solheim and other senior UNEP officials, who casually responded that they would meet in due course.

The substantial question is what is Secretary-General Guterres, who appoints UNEP directors, going to do? Apparently more environmental patience, with more environmental expenses.