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Under-fire UN environment chief resigns

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United Nations (United States) (AFP)

UN environment chief Erik Solheim resigned on Tuesday after an audit questioning his huge travel expenses triggered an outcry, UN officials said.

The former environment minister of Norway had been at the helm of the Nairobi-based UN Environment since June 2016.

A UN audit found that Solheim had spent nearly $500,000 on travel and that he claimed unjustified expenses at a time when the world body is struggling with shrinking budgets.

His globe-trotting raised accusations that he showed little regard for the environment and efforts to reduce carbon emissions generated by air travel.

Solheim's resignation comes ahead of crucial talks opening in Poland on December 2 on implementing the Paris climate deal.

A formal UN announcement on the resignation was expected later Tuesday.

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