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Private Jets Flying To COP26 Will Spew More CO2 Than 1,600 Scots In A Year

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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 1,600 Scots burn through in a year – have been branded “rank climate hypocrisy” and the “nadir of carbon inequality.” …

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

Matt Finch, of the Transport and Environment campaign group, said:

“The average private jet, and we are not talking Air Force One, emits two tons of CO2 for every hour in flight. It can’t 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.”

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 amount to around one million tonnes of CO2 each year.

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

Leo Murray, the co-author of a 2019 report on aviation and climate policy, said:

“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.”

Labour Net Zero spokeswoman Monica Lennon added:

“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?”

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, the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said:

“Any leaders of rich nations and corporations heading to Glasgow to explain to the developing world why we can’t 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.”

Read rest at Sunday Mail

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