400 Private Jets Carrying Politicians To COP26 Emit More CO2 Than Hundreds of Citizens Would In A Year


More than 400 private jets carrying politicians and business executives to this week’s conference will belch out 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide, exceeding the emissions of 1,600 average Scots for a full year, according to an estimate by the Scotland’s Daily Record (Private jets flying to COP26 in Glasgow will blast more CO2 than Scots pump out in a year, by John Ferguson, 31 Oct., 2021, https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/private-jets-flying-cop26-blast-25338840) The Scot daily cited Sunday Mail.

The report said:

More than 400 private jets carrying world leaders and business executives to COP26 will blast 13,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, the Sunday Mail can reveal.

The flights – which will produce more global warming gas than 1600 Scots burn through in a year – have been branded “rank climate hypocrisy” and the “nadir of carbon inequality”.

Joe Biden’s Air Force One is expected to touch down in Scotland – one of two aircraft the US President’s entourage uses to travel around the world.

The French Cotam 001, Canadian Air Force VIP, German Konrad Adenauer, Japanese Air Force One, Air India One and Israeli Wing of Zion are just a few of the others that could be arriving at the summit.

Our carbon calculations are conservative as they are based on the emissions of the smaller private jets which used by hundreds of the business leaders attending the talks.

The report cited Matt Finch, of the Transport and Environment campaign group: “The average private jet, and we are not talking Air Force One, emits two tons of CO2 for every hour in flight. It cannot be stressed enough how bad private jets are for the environment, it is the worst way to travel by miles. Our research has found that most journeys could easily be completed on scheduled flights.

“Private jets are very prestigious but it is difficult to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change.

“To put it in context, the total carbon footprint of an ordinary citizen – including everywhere they travel and everything they consume – is around eight tonnes a year.

“So an executive or politician taking one long haul private flight will burn more CO2 than several normal people do in a year.”

The report said:

Aviation sources confirmed more than 400 private aircraft will likely carry over 1000 world leaders, business execs and their staff to the talks.

While Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick will cater for many of the delegates, smaller airfields specifically for private jets as far afield as London have been recommended for use by COP26 organizers.

Around 100 of the aircraft are believed to be carrying delegates from Europe – with most round trips taking on average four hours – while a further 300 long haul trips will clock up roughly 20 hours in the air.

We can also reveal UK Government claims that sustainable fuel will be used to power flights have been dismissed as “blatant industry greenwashing” by experts.

An average private jet journey emits 10 times as much greenhouse gases per person as the same trip on an economy class flight, and 150 times more than a rail trip.

The total warming impacts from private jet flights from UK airports amounts to around one million tonnes of CO2 each year.

Despite the shocking environmental toll of air travel, all jet fuel is tax free.

The report also cited Leo Murray, co-author of a 2019 report on aviation and climate policy: “Fossil fuel powered private jets represent the nadir of carbon inequality.

“Their persistent use in the context of the escalating climate crisis can no longer be justified.”

It cited Labour Net Zero spokeswoman Monica Lennon: “Flying by private jet while claiming to care passionately about tackling the climate emergency really is rank climate hypocrisy.

“It goes against what all of these national leaders tell people they should be doing – they should be leading by example.

“Except in rare cases where there is no other option – for example some global south states which don’t have scheduled flights available – it sends out completely the wrong message.

“How can anyone using a private jet tell an ordinary family they should be taking the train rather than flying on holiday?”

The report said:

Lib Dem Net Zero spokeswoman Sanne Dijkstra-Downie also criticized the use of private jets.

She said: “Private jets are about the worst possible mode of transport for the environment and while the reality is we are probably unlikely to be able to tempt Joe Biden to leave Air Force One at home, there is much more the Scottish Government could be doing to curb aviation emissions.

“The Scottish Government has admitted our climate targets cannot be met if everyone flies as much as they used to. We put forward plans for a frequent flyer levy so those with private aircraft or taking frequent trips pick up the tab for their emissions.”

Delegates arriving in the UK for COP26 have been directed to seven airports, including two that cater exclusively to private jets.

Farnborough Airport in Hampshire has been targeted by XR activists calling for an end to private flights chartered by “super-rich elites and oligarchs”.

But the site has been recommended in official COP26 guidance for delegates, along with private Biggin Hill Airport in London.

Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said: “Any leaders of rich nations and corporations heading to Glasgow to explain to the developing world why we cannot afford to keep the promises we made to them in previous negotiations would sound a lot more convincing if they didn’t arrive in private jets.”

The report cited Mathew Lawrence, director of the Common Wealth sustainable economy think tank: “The environmental costs of private jet travel are sky high.

‘That so many attendees opted to travel by jet when greener alternatives were available is a worrying start to the conference and a sign of how much we need to change.”

It said:

Boris Johnson is said to be planning to fly to Scotland on a “green flight” using Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) – biofuels from plants or waste.

But it has been criticized by activists who say it must be mixed with a high percentage of traditional fuel. There is also a carbon cost in its production.

Biden’s 85 Vehicles

Another media report said:

President Biden on Friday cruised through Rome with an 85-vehicle motorcade — drawing criticism for the poor optics ahead of a global warming summit in Glasgow, Scotland, to which Biden is bringing about a dozen top U.S. officials.

A New York Post report (Biden tours Rome with 85-vehicle motorcade ahead of ‘climate’ summit, by Steven Nelson, Oct. 29, 2021, https://nypost.com/2021/10/29/joe-biden-sees-rome-with-85-car-motorcade-before-climate-summit/) said:

“Biden arriving at the Vatican. His motorcade is lonnnnnng,” tweeted Washington Post reporter Chico Harlan, along with a video of the procession.

“#Decarbonize this,” one person captioned the video.

“America’s Marie Antoinette class is Washington’s elites – and that shows it,” another person responded.

Biden routinely says there is a “climate crisis” caused by fossil fuels. It is unclear how many of the motorcade vehicles are electric plug-ins or hybrids, but they appeared to be standard gas-guzzling limos, SUVs and vans.

A different Washington Post reporter, Seung Min King, wrote in a White House pool report that “we are told it is 85 vehicles” in the motorcade.

The report said:

The president’s domestic motorcade usually features only a couple dozen vehicles, not including those used to block off traffic.

Video of the unusually long motorcade in Rome shows the presidential Beast limo and a decoy followed by a stream of other cars — some with flashing police lights.

It is possible that the White House was not responsible for the massive protective detail. Offering security generally is the responsibility of the host country and U.S. law enforcement provides protective motorcades for foreign leaders in DC.

Biden departed for the trip Thursday after unveiling a $1.75 trillion framework for social and environmental spending that includes $555 billion in green-energy and anti-pollution spending that he wants Democrats to pass.

Biden said the legislation would “turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.”

“Folks, we all have that obligation — that obligation to our children and to our grandchildren,” Biden said of curtailing the use of fossil fuels.

After reaching the Vatican in the massive motorcade, Biden said he and Pope Francis discussed climate change.

Biden said he and the pope discussed the “moral responsibility to have to deal with this.”

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