Greenpeace left red-faced after travel scandal

2014-06-24 15:25
Greenpeace France's director Pascal Husting. (Jean-Pierre Muller, AFP)

Greenpeace France's director Pascal Husting. (Jean-Pierre Muller, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague – Anti-carbon advocate Greenpeace has grounded flights for a top official after a media report fingered him for commuting by plane between his Luxembourg home and its Amsterdam-based headquarters, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

A storm erupted on Monday when The Guardian newspaper revealed that Greenpeace's number two, Pascal Husting, opted to fly the 40km between work and home twice a month, rather than drive or take the train.

Greenpeace is a strong advocate against carbon dioxide emissions, including that resulting from air travel. It regularly urges airlines to end needless short-haul routes.

"He will no longer fly to get to Amsterdam. He's now travelling by train", Greenpeace spokesperson Mike Townsley said.

Husting, the environmental group's former director in France, became the organisation's deputy head in 2011. He asked not to move his young family to Amsterdam after taking the job, Townsley said.


Husting initially flew to the Dutch capital once a week, but later cut it to two trips per month.

"It was a difficult compromise for Pascal, he had a young family and his wife was pregnant", Townsley said, adding that Greenpeace supported the arrangement.

"At first it was a temporary solution, but it lasted longer than necessary", Townsley added.

Husting told the Dutch daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad he had "moved twice in two years and my children will be once again confronted with a new language."

"I haven't flown in five years for any personal reasons", he added.

"I am very aware of carbon dioxide emissions and that airline traffic is one of the biggest-growing polluters."

The revelation is the second controversy in two weeks to hit the environmental charity, better known for its daring actions at nuclear power plants and Arctic oil rigs to highlight dangers of environmental pollution.

Earlier this month Greenpeace said it fired an employee after he lost the group $5.15m in a failed gamble on the international currency market.

John Sauven, Greenpeace's director in Britain, wrote in a blogpost on Greenpeace UK's website that the decision to allow Husting to fly is "a really tough one".

"What kind of compromises do you make in your efforts to try to make the world a better place?" he asked.

"It is very clear a lot of Greenpeace supporters feel this was the wrong decision", Sauven added.
Read more on:    greenpeace  |  luxembourg  |  amsterdam  |  climate change

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.