by WorldTribune Staff, September 22, 2019
The New York-based United Nations in 2018 emitted more carbon dioxide than the entirety of some of its member states, a Reuters report noted.
Now, some 2,000 United Nations employees are calling out their bosses, demanding in an open letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the higher-ups practice what they preach on the environment.
“Might that mean the global elite would have to give up their cushy-albeit-carbon-heavy private jet travels?” Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote on Sept. 20. “Indeed, say the staff.”
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The letter, written under the header Young UN Agents for Change, said: “Our commitments need to be more ambitious and at least as concrete as those of the UN Member States and no-party stakeholders attending the UN Climate Action Summit. … [L]et us look at our own impact and take bold steps to address the climate emergency.”
The Reuters report noted that the UN emitted roughly 2 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2018 — a carbon footprint that’s larger than what’s left behind by by UN member states such as Malta and Liberia.
“And it’s largely due to travel,” Chumley wrote.
“Among 10 issues identified by Young UN are travel allowances, which … should be scrapped ‘in order to disincentivize travel by UN employees and UN meeting participants motivated by financial gain,’ ” the Reuters report said.
Chumley noted that “it’s not only the carbon footprint the UN needs to reel in; it’s spending on perks. Travel allotments for each and every global body traveler can surpass $400 a day. That’s a whole lot of food. That’s a pretty cushy padding.”
What is the UN’s response to the letter?
“Pretty much as expected,” Chumley wrote. “Political hogwash.”
A statement from Gueterres’s office said: “The Secretary-General welcomes the initiative of Young UN on climate action in the UN system. The Secretary-General is committed to lead by example and calls for transformative action to address the climate crisis, including on the part of the UN system and Secretariat itself.”
In other words, Chumley wrote: “We’re Big Government. We don’t have to change. “
Chumley continued: “With this, it’s not so much that UN elite fly the friendly skies whenever, wherever and with whomever they please. Rather, it’s that these same UN elite who cry about carbon footprints from thee and me nevertheless don’t direct that same sort of alarmism toward themselves.
“It’s hypocrisy of the worst kind. And these UN staffers raise a good point: If the United Nations’ notables can’t practice what they preach about the climate, they either ought to quit the practice — or quit the preaching.”