Global elites took over 150 private jets to fight climate change in Davos
Business leaders, celebrities, billionaires and government officials traveled to the top of the World Economic Forum (WEF) last week, largely on private jets, according to a Fox News Digital analysis of flight data.
During the conference, which began Jan. 16 and ended Friday, at least 150 private jets flew to three of the closest airstrips near WEF headquarters in Davos, Switzerland, data shows. obtained from Flightradar24 flight tracking software. The data suggests conference participants released hundreds of thousands of pounds and thousands of metric tons of carbon through the use of their private jets.
“Europe is experiencing its hottest January days on record and communities around the world are grappling with extreme weather events fueled by the climate crisis,” Klara Maria Schenk, an activist with environmental group Greenpeace International, said in a statement. communicated prior to the conference.
“Meanwhile, the rich and powerful are flocking to Davos in ultra-polluting and socially unfair private jets to talk about climate and inequality behind closed doors,” she continued.
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Traveling by private jet is by far the most carbon-intensive mode of transportation. According to a 2021 report from the Transport & Environment group, they are about 10 times more carbon intensive than commercial aircraft and 50 times more carbon intensive than trains.
Flight data largely showed private jets flying into the region from several cities in Europe and others from the United States and Asia.
For example, on Jan. 15, a Gulfstream G650 jet was traveling from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Friedrichshafen Airport, a small airstrip two hours north of Davos. The nine-hour flight burned about 44 tons of carbon, according to an emissions calculator created by Paramount Business Jets.
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Another long-haul private jet flight — from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Friedrichshafen Airport on a Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft on Jan. 16 — burned about 42 tons of carbon. And a four-hour flight Friday from Baku, Azerbaijan, to St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport on the same aircraft model emitted about 23 tons of carbon.
In comparison, the average human in the world has an estimated annual carbon footprint of four tons.
In addition, dozens of private jet trips tracked by Fox News Digital were short-haul flights from neighboring countries.
In one example, on Tuesday, an Embraer Phenom 300 jet flew just 31 minutes from Milan, Italy to St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport. On Thursday, a Cessna 680A Citation Latitude flew 53 minutes from Prague, Czech Republic, to the same airport.
Other short-haul flights were from Buochs, Switzerland; Speyer, Germany; Frankfurt, Germany; Turin, Italy; Salzburg, Austria; Nice, France; Lyon, France and Cannes, France.
Meanwhile, the agenda of the WEF conference is largely focused on environmental issues such as climate change and achieving net-zero ambitions.. The conference program highlighted as a top priority “solving the current energy and food crises in the context of a new system for energy, climate and nature”.
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And several high-level climate activists and officials, such as the President’s special climate envoy John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore, attended the summit and implored fellow attendees to redouble their climate efforts. .
“When you think about it, it’s pretty exceptional that we – a select group of people because of everything that has impacted us at some point in our lives – can sit in a room and get together and actually talk about saving the planet Kerry noted on Tuesday. “I mean, it’s almost strange to think about ‘saving the planet’.”
While the three airports – St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, Samedan Airport and Friedrichshafen Airport – analyzed by Fox News Digital are popular airstrips for people traveling to the WEF peaks, previous studies of private jet travel to Davos have tracked flights to four additional airports. including Geneva Airport and Zurich Airport, two major international travel hubs.
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Such surveys have found that between 1,000 and 1,500 private jets visited all of the surrounding airports near Davos during recent WEF summits. In 2019, the WEF responded to criticism, acknowledging that attendees had taken about 500 jets to the summit that year, but said attendees were “taking the environmental impact of their trip more seriously.”
“We have been offering participants incentives to use public transportation for a few years now,” the WEF said in a statement in January 2019. “We also ask them to share planes if they need to use it; which has gained popularity in recent years.
The WEF did not respond to a request for comment.
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