Former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen will step down as chairman of the maligned climate organisation Global Green Growth Initiative (GGGI), he announced today.
“We have an election right around the corner and I want to focus my energies completely on the domestic Danish agenda,” Løkke said in a statement. He will formally leave the position in September.
Løkke has been the chairman of the South Korean NGO since 2012, but it wasn’t until late in 2013 that GGGI became a household name following the revelations that the organisation, which is partly funded by the Danish state, had paid for the Venstre leader to fly first class 15 times at a combined tune of approximately one million kroner. Various other spending discrepancies were subsequently discovered, including the purchase of airline tickets for his daughter.
The GGGI scandal cost Christian Friis Bach of the Social Liberals (Radikale) his job as the development minister after Bach gave incorrect information to parliament about changes to the travel policies of the organisation, which is overseen by his ministry.
Although Løkke didn’t lose his position as party leader over the GGGI mess, or a subsequent spending scandal regarding clothing bought for him by Venstre, his personal popularity and that of his party have been seriously damaged by the revelations of his seemingly luxurious ways.
In announcing he would leave his GGGI position prematurely, Løkke said he was proud of what he accomplished, saying that he had help take it from a local South Korean NGO to an international organisation with UN observer status.
“There has been a lot written and said about GGGI, but I am leaving behind a stronger and more solid organisation that has been strengthened economically and has the potential to play a vital role in building momentum in the global coordinated approach to battling climate change,” he said.