Head of UN Environment Program Resigns

Reposted from cliscep.com

Posted on 21 Nov 18 by Paul Matthews 10 Comments


Erik Solheim, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has resigned. See reports from the Guardian and the BBC.

Despite standing on a platform calling for a pollution-free planet (see image above), climate hypocrite Solheim led a jet-setting lifestyle, spending almost half a million dollars on air travel and hotels in just two years.  Full details are apparently in an internal UN report that has not yet been made public.

Reposted from cliscep.com


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November 23, 2018 2:06 pm

He reminds me of Al “the blimp” Gore,
inventor of the internet,
with a HUGE carbon footprint,
and an equally huge shadow !

My climate science blog:

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 23, 2018 6:18 pm

Do as I say, not as I do.

Tom Halla
November 23, 2018 2:14 pm


Bruce Cobb
November 23, 2018 2:16 pm

Yet MORE trouble in Greenie-Weenie land. Love it.

November 23, 2018 2:16 pm

I wonder what kind of pension UNers get? Do they get to pick the currency they get paid in or do they get imperial credits 🙂

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Derg
November 23, 2018 2:32 pm

They get to travel around the world at their leisure, making speeches and being compensated handsomely for doing so.

Mike Bromley
Reply to  Derg
November 23, 2018 2:37 pm

Good question. No matter the handshake it’ll be golden

Reply to  Derg
November 23, 2018 2:55 pm


I’ll answer that question as best I can.

My late father in law, a senior UN official from the 50’s, was paid his pension in a denomination he elected. It happened to be USD as he was advised it was the safest, as it proved.

My late FIL also got a good pension, but then he spent 5 years at a time in a foreign country with, in the 50’s, virtually no contact with home other that an extraordinarily expensive phone call a couple of times a year to his wife and children.

My late mother in law had to fly on a cargo plane to join him in Africa on the occasions she got to visit him before they had children.

He slept in a hammock frequently, a mud hut regularly, and ate food you and I would toss in the bin as scraps because he wouldn’t be seen to be eating anything better than the locals he lived with.

Today conditions are somewhat different however, as much as I am anything but a fan of our contemporary UN, the individuals working on the ground are decent people.

As an institution the UN is reprehensible, and I entirely accept this guy is part of the political elite who wants world domination. But this is reported by the Guardian and the BBC which, under any other circumstances on this blog would be called out as fake, but because it suits us we are slaves to their integrity.

Perhaps we ought to examine the detail of the MSM’s reports which suit us with as much scepticism as those that don’t suit us.

November 23, 2018 2:35 pm

The UN Environment Program is a pretty big deal these days, and under intense scrutiny.

This guy was easy meat for the witch hunters and to be fair to him, no one in his position is entirely stupid.

They couldn’t get him on cheating on his wife, child abuse, racketeering, alcoholism, gambling etc. so they got him on the one thing he would have been fastidious about, travel expenses. Every single flight, car hire, train ride, taxi fare claimed for and documented if he had half a brain, which evidently he did.

Did the UN say, you have £/$300 expenses this year, use them wisely? No, they gave him an open ended expense account to do as he saw fit. I’ll guarantee he didn’t run up these expenses on his personal credit card, someone gave him an open ended cheque book, and they were monitoring it every month. 6 months into his ‘spree’ he should have been carpeted and his corporate credit card restricted. There is no excuse, everything is available digitally on a minute by minute basis these days.

The question is, not what he spent, but what he do.

Every other department in the UN has their high flying officials who spend at least as much on travel as he did, so what did he do wrong?

Irrispective of his position on climate change, doesn’t anyone else here smell a rat?

Reply to  HotScot
November 23, 2018 5:20 pm

Yes..when I first read the headline, I thought to myself…what else did he do because that isn’t overly expensive for two whole years. A half $Mil, for flights, meals, taxi’s and hotels and whatever other odds and sods expenses. He is probably on the road a lot so would probably have a hefty annual bill. I travel a fair bit in winter, and I can see how expenses could add up if living out of a suitcase while eating in fancy restaurants and maybe even flying first class. I wouldn’t begrudge him that, to say that he should eat at a cheap diner or fly coach every time. Yes, something doesn’t add up because the UN basically has a blank chequebook, and the last guy they would want to hang out to dry would be their Head of UN Environment Program, unless there is something else really going on. I would bet that there is also quite a few other heads of Depts there that also have a significant travel expense.

I hope it turns out that he is secretly a Skeptic and was engaged in perhaps questioning some orthodoxy that is a sacred cow to the UN. Or to someone in the Third World who gets some major perk for going along…or something to hide. The plot thickens. I think we should keep an ear to the ground on this one since it may shed light on something else that really should have a light shone it. There is always something going on in the background that isn’t shared.

Reply to  Earthling2
November 24, 2018 5:14 am

Was he perhaps a frequent user of plastic straws? That can get one canned in California.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Earthling2
November 27, 2018 4:59 am

If he did 250 days a year on the road, so 500 days over two years, that is still $1000 a day spent on expenses.

Assume: 1st class flights intercontinental, business class short haul. Say 20 return intercontinental at $10,000 and 100 short haul returns at $1000, makes $300,000.
Hotel: 5 star at $500 a night would be $100,000 for 500 nights.

You still have $200 a day for 500 days to account for in taxis, restaurants, bar bills etc.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
November 27, 2018 5:02 am

Sorry, maths went awol there: hotel bills would be $250,000, so it is easy to reach half a million just on flights and hotels.

Rud Istvan
November 23, 2018 2:37 pm

As much as skeptics might like to think it was embarassed carbon footprint schadenfreude, it probably wasn’t. Just plain old corruption.
There was an official UN watchdog audit of Solheim’s travel and travel expenses the past 2 years. The audit was triggered by the fact Solheim was away from his UNEP headquarters for 80% of working days for two years. The audit finished last Saturday found much of Solheim’s travel was unjustified by official UNEP business. OTH, if I were a Norwegian forced to work out of UNEP HQ in Nairobi, I would have been tempted to travel a lot also.
Some quick Nairobi facts. Population now over 4 million (near doubled in ~10 years), with >half living in slums. ‘Nairobbery’ is the worst in all Africa. Only 40 %of housing stock has municipal water connections, and only 40% of those have reliable water supply. (40% of Nairoby municipal water goes ‘missing’ through theft and leaks.)

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 23, 2018 3:11 pm


Sorry, I don’t buy that. UN officials at his level know precisely what they are getting into. He would not have been living in a slum. Solheim wasn’t recruited/promoted because he was an idiot, he would have been well aware of what his expenses were and the justification of same.

If it were the case that it took 2 years for an audit to be conducted, I’ll call that out as fake as even a small business these days can monitor expenses of an individual almost day by day.

Personally I think he’s the fall guy for something. Lord knows what and I don’t expect we’ll ever find out unless he writes a book.

But as I say in another post here, these are reports from the guardian and the bbc and under any other circumstances we would be sneering at them, but because it suits our purposes they are gospel.

Frankly I don’t give a monkeys if this guys guilty or not, nor do I give a monkeys if climate sceptics are guilty or not, all I want is parity, a level playing field. I don’t want people like him set up for a fall to be replaced with a compliant minion.

I want climate sceptics to face alarmist tigers so that when we do beat them, we beat the best.

I reckon Solheim was set up not because of travel expenses but because he was shifting allegiance or questioning an orthodoxy, perhaps not even climate orthodoxy. It would have been easier to catch him in bed with a ladyboy, but they couldn’t, they had to get him on travel expenses.

Something is not right.

Reply to  HotScot
November 23, 2018 4:07 pm

I’m loving your responses on this post! I have no “skin in the game” personally, but I do agree that something just simply, doesn’t add up. I have no idea what it is as I have no personal tie to the UN as you do, but something just ain’t right.

Reply to  Ted
November 23, 2018 4:44 pm


My personal tie to the UN, such as it was, retired almost 40 years ago and died about 5 years ago. My inside information is doubtless out of date but I do believe that 99% of the guys working on the ground in the UN are honourable people.

I was a cop in the 70’s and 80’s, of course no one liked cops, and we were all tarred as corrupt. But of all the hundreds of cops I knew, I only encountered two who were genuinely nasty and they were thrown out for brutality. Every single other cop I knew joined to do good, not harm.

The corruption or probably more accurately, political distortion began at very senior level and we grunts just had to do as we were told else our families went hungry. But that did not include abusing members of the community we lived in, because we had to walk down the street with our wives and children amongst the people we dealt with.

The UN and many government agencies are much the same. One doesn’t piss in ones own nest, and I even have some sympathy for senior officials, as they have orders too, but I despise them if they don’t question their orders, as many don’t.

Perhaps it’s just my suspicious mind that makes me sceptical of this guys sacking. But then again I’m a sceptic, not just of climate, but of everything.

Reply to  HotScot
November 23, 2018 10:33 pm

UN has been corrupted with neomarxism. Erik knows that the UNFCCC is just a politicized idea to attack the Western World use of energy.

Reply to  HotScot
November 23, 2018 11:05 pm

He was the leader of SV in Norway. A political party to the left of the left. No Norwegian takes him serious. And with him as a leader of UNEP no one takes UNEP serious?

Reply to  HotScot
November 24, 2018 5:06 am

Solheim has come out with a statement that he was pushed out because he tried to make senior staff actually do some work, so they shafted him in the report.


This is in Norwegian and he comes across as a bit of a jerk, but it is quite true that his job is as an ambassador and no-one is going to come visit him in Nairobi so he will have to visit them. I will look for a re-posting of this in english somewhere.

Geir Aaslid
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 23, 2018 5:50 pm

Readers can see most of the damning details here, in English language coverage in Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper similar to New York Times, except it’s considerably more climate alarmist.

Other newspapers in Scandinavia have reported that several countries have stopped paying their annual obligations into UNEP due to how UNEP operates, with complete disregard for their own budget. Denmark and Sweden has been mentioned among these, and considering how closely the Nordic countries work together within the UN conglomerate, this is highly unusual.

These same countries also regularly export their own failed politicians to the UN system, but apparently some of these politicians are proving to be too incompetent to survive in UN jobs.

Regular readers of WUWT will know UNEP is also in the business of predicting immense future numbers of Climate refugees, despite not a single one can be found today.
This turned out somewhat embarassing, so UNEP hid their own web page with their own prediction. as reported here at WUWT by Anthony Watts.


UNEP is now working on a future report of climate refugees. The work seems to consist solely of changing their year of arrival, as well as coming up with an even more impressive number of refugees.

Several parts of the UN system is also working on a definition of “Climate Refugee” so they can redefine todays refugees as climate refugees, the real intention being to create more UN jobs which can be filled by failed politicians like Mr. Solheim.

Perhaps we – the democratic West – should get out of the whole UN system?

Robert of Texas
November 23, 2018 2:38 pm

I am all for a pollution free planet…but that is impossible.

I am for an almost pollution free planet, but CO2 is not pollution, and the costs might be too high.

I will settle for an increasingly cleaner environment in the United States, where I live and have a little say-so.

Meanwhile, one less hypocrite getting free money from me… Yeah!

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 23, 2018 3:43 pm

CO2 is not pollution….

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 25, 2018 2:47 am

Depends on your definition of “pollution”. That word has been heavily corrupted.

November 23, 2018 2:38 pm

It was a “dirty job” but somebody had to do it

Andre Lauzon
November 23, 2018 2:48 pm

I will settle for a clean planet…….cleansed of the thousands of corrupt politicians. (and also cleansed of ignorant, hedonistic ones) PS I’m from Canada.

November 23, 2018 2:54 pm

The world should do as I say, not as I do.

Andrew Dickens
November 23, 2018 3:08 pm

As a UK Government auditor (now retired) I spent a few weeks at WHO HQ in Geneva. I discovered that all staff could claim for a number of visits to their home country (I think 4 a year). The rule was that they were allowed to claim the full scheduled airfare even if they travelled on a cheap flight, as long as they didn’t also claim peripheral costs such as taxis etc. Claims were therefore perhaps 4 X actual costs. I couldn’t believe this until someone showed me the regulation that allowed this. As I understand it, all UN bodies operate the same system (so does the EU).

Nice work if you can get it.

Reply to  Andrew Dickens
November 23, 2018 3:23 pm


Thanks for your input, it’s very valuable.

Now, ignoring the perhaps extreme nature of the expenses UN officials are granted, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect an intelligent man such as this to work within the rules he’s agreed to.

And wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect his monthly expenses to be monitored and not left to a bi annual review before he’s summarily sacked? His boss must have seen his first years expenses returns but said nothing?

Digital finance these days gives organisations almost day by day tracking of expenses so I find in suspicious that he wasn’t stopped in his tracks after the first year of overspending far less wait until his second year.

And if he was up to something underhand like corruption, bribery, using prostitutes, buying yachts, flash cars etc. wouldn’t it be easier to prove that, and sack him for it, with no come back, rather than use a feeble excuse of expense abuse after two years of openly conducting it?

If he’s been allowed to run riot with expenses for two years, isn’t that the fault of the UN, not his?

I really don’t buy it.

John Bell
November 23, 2018 3:22 pm

Just what do UN people do generally anyway? It is a huge system of useless bureaucrats, just a bunch of dead wood pork feeding at the public trough.

Reply to  John Bell
November 23, 2018 3:45 pm

John Bell

My late father in law dealt directly with the Castro brothers when he was posted to Cuba in the 50’s/60’s as a senior UN official. He didn’t want to deal with them, he didn’t like them, but his job was to drag them into the 20th Century and improve conditions for their ‘subjects’.

He spent several years in Cuba watching things that would make you physically ill. He reported them all but the objective was to improve living conditions for the population, not to change the regime or condemn their politics so nothing was done except objections relayed to the Castro’s. And if it wasn’t done tactfully, my FIL would likely have ‘disappeared’.

It was of course, all for nothing as almost on the day he left the manufacturing facilities he set up across the country were dismantled and sold off internationally by the Castro’s as ‘not new but hardly used’.

I daresay the UN has changed in the intervening 40 years since he retired but I suspect the guys on the ground now are no different to my FIL.

Wiliam Haas
November 23, 2018 4:03 pm

If one believes that the use of fossil fuels is bad then one should stop making use of all goods and services that involve the use of fossil fuels. Just from the photo the man in question has not done that. He is wearing store bought clothes.

michael hart
November 23, 2018 5:22 pm

I don’t get much joy from seeing such a person resign for fiddling his expenses.

The bigger point is that his job probably shouldn’t have existed in the first place. While there is a place for genuine enviroinmental concerns, it should be plain to all that most “green” UN functionaries are just in a Marxist power-grab role, and rather less useful than a chocolate teapot.

old construction worker
November 24, 2018 5:04 am

Well he have been paid millions + made million + invested million in his holdings. Now he can go on the “speaker circle” but does have to work as hard.

November 25, 2018 2:50 am

If only someone could invent a technology that allows communication over vast distances so people like him wouldn’t have to spend so much time and money on air travel.

Johann Wundersamer
December 2, 2018 8:32 am

the secret of becoming famous and rich:

Advance to the Head of UN Environment Program.

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