The bigwigs heading to Scotland for the COP26 climate summit – where they ostensibly aim to help save the planet from greenhouse gases – will generate outsized emissions themselves by employing private jets for the trip.
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 UK’s Sunday Mail.
“Private jets are very prestigious, but it is difficult to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change,”The newspaper was informed by Matt Finch, an environmental activist.
Heads of states and other leaders from across the globe will be among the private jet-setters – from Japan to India to Israel to even the UK itself. On Monday, Joe Biden, the US president is expected to board Air Force One.
That trip will follow the American president’s flight from Washington to Rome for this weekend’s G20 summit, where leaders pledged “meaningful and effective”The Climate Action Plan did not provide any details on the specific steps they would take to keep temperatures below 1.5° Celsius.
It’s not clear whether Biden will again deploy a massive motorcade, such as the 85-car parade of gas-guzzling vehicles that chaperoned his visit to the Vatican on Friday to meet with Pope Francis. Biden will be promoting more than $500billion in US environmental spending when he arrives at Glasgow.
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Critics blasted COP26 attendees for claiming to fight climate change but doing little to decrease their massive carbon footprints. “Every world leader or dignitary that arrives to COP26 by private jet is an eco-hypocrite,”Nigel Farage, a former member of European Parliament, stated this Sunday via Twitter.
Every dignitary or world leader who visits @COP26Private jets are an eco-hypocrite. It’s a fact.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) October 31, 2021
Britain’s Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among those targeted for criticism, inasmuch as they took private jets to Rome and Scotland. Johnson was also subject to political criticism when he flew private from London to Cornwall in June for the G7 Summit, rather than using a train.
Prince Charles will fly private to Rome in order to participate at the G20 conference. He then returns via private plane to London. #COP26To express concern about climate change, he attended a summit in Glasgow Serios. pic.twitter.com/Y7vS5lo0WZ
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) October 30, 2021
According to Finch’s Transport and Environment NGO group, CO2 output from private jets is soaring, which helps account for the fact that 1% of the population generates half of global aviation emissions. A study from Lund University found that private aircraft emit 40 times the amount of CO2 as commercial flight.
Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, has been another alleged environmental hypocrite for globe-trotting by private jet while warning that “we cannot afford further delay”The climate crisis. His family’s Gulfstream GIV-SP reportedly emitted an estimated 116 metric tons of CO2 in the 11 months leading up to Biden’s inauguration in January – equivalent to the annual emissions of 25 passenger cars.
Kerry’s explanation for traveling by private jet might resonate with many of the COP26 dignitaries. In an interview, he stated that flying by private jet to Iceland to collect an award for environmental protection in 2019 was the only option.
“The time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean,”Kerry spoke without including commercial airline options. “I have to fly, meet with people and get things done.”He continued, “If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.”
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