Outrage as VIPs take private jets to climate summit
There is outrage after Jeff Bezos’ $ 65million Gulf Stream jet drove a flood of 400 private planes into Scotland’s COP26 environmental summit.
World leaders and dignitaries from around the world including Prince Albert of Monaco and a host of ‘green’ CEOs landed in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the weekend, creating what one Scottish media described as’ an extraordinary traffic jam. [which] forced empty planes to travel 30 miles to find a place to park.
As President Biden spoke at Monday’s anti-global warming conference, other figures are expected to attend the summit – billed as a watershed moment to take action to limit carbon emissions – including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates and singer Ellie Goulding.
Matt Finch of the UK campaign group Transport and Environment, told the Scottish Sunday Mail: âThe average private jet, and we’re not talking about Air Force One, emits two tonnes of CO2 for every hour of flight.
âWe cannot stress enough how harmful private jets are to the environment, they are the worst way to travel for miles. Our research showed that most trips could easily be done on scheduled flights.
“Private jets are very prestigious but it’s hard to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change.”
He added: âTo put it in context, the total carbon footprint of an ordinary citizen – including wherever they travel and everything they consume – is around eight tonnes per year.
âSo an executive or politician taking a private long-haul flight will burn more CO2 than many normal people in a year. “
Aviation sources confirmed at the point of sale that more than 400 private planes would likely carry more than 1,000 world executives, business executives and their staff to the talks.
The Sunday Mail also estimated that these planes will propel 13,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, which will generate more greenhouse gases than the 1,600 Scots burn in a year.
Other world leaders present at the summit include British Prince Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Vice President Al Gore.
“If we don’t take climate change seriously today, it will be too late for our children,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the opening, after comparing the task of COP26 participants to that of James Bond who saves the world.
But British Secretary of State Liz Truss defended the estimate of 400 aircraft by plane to Glasgow ahead of Cop26 this weekend, saying, âIt’s really important that we have people face to face. ”
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Truss said: âI think anyone who has ever made a Zoom call knows that they are very helpful with certain things.
âBut when you really get into tough negotiations. When you want to look someone in the eye and talk to them face to face, you have to meet in person. And that’s really critical. “
She added: âWorld leaders are going to have to make tough decisions about what is going on in their own countries. They’re going to have to engage in things they didn’t necessarily want when they got to the conference.
âAnd that’s why it’s really important that we have people face to face and that these negotiations can take place. We can make a real difference.
Climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio took to Twitter on Monday, writing: âThe climate crisis is here. # COP26 must be a turning point to protect people and the planet.
âRulers, the world is watching you and urging you to stand up at this time. There’s no time to lose.
Representatives for DiCaprio and Bezos – who also just sparked controversy by party with Bill Gates on a mega-yacht off the coast of Turkey – did not comment or respond to us.
But sources said DiCaprio was a VIP attendee who stole an ad from the conference. He was spotted at London’s Heathrow Airport, with connecting flights, a source exclusively told Page Six.
In July 2019, there was a similar outcry when A-listers came to the top of Google in Sicily – to discuss climate change – in a convoy of private jets and mega-yachts.
Guests including former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, DiCaprio and Katy Perry converged on the Sicilian seaside for the mega-party dubbed Google Camp, as local media announced the arrival of 114 jets private.