The United Nations is being urged by more than 1,000 of its employees to reduce its carbon footprint by cutting down on perks, such as business-class flights and travel allowances.
Staff members are calling on the organization to take a leaf out of its own climate change manual and make changes to address the group’s carbon footprint, according to Reuters which obtained the letter addressed to the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Our commitments need to be more ambitious and at least as concrete as those of the UN Member States and non-party stakeholders attending the UN Climate Action Summit,” the letter, by a group called the ‘Young UN,’ read.
More than 40,000 people are employed by the UN across 60 countries which, together, contribute to a staggering carbon footprint that is greater than several of its member states. In 2017, its own data showed the organization emitted 1.86 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The Young UN says one of the main in-house issues that need to be tackled is travel, which accounts for nearly half of the organization’s emissions. Travel allowances should be cut, says the group, as the daily fee covering food and accommodation act as a staff incentive. Employees should be rewarded for downgrading their business class seats, the group suggests.