private jets


According to analysis conducted by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft, the UK has more private jet flights than any other European country, with one private jet taking off from the country every six minutes in 2022. The number of private jets taking off from the UK increased by 75% between 2021 and 2022, reaching a total of 90,256 flights, which emitted 500,000 tonnes of CO2, more than any other European country. The use of private jets across Europe also rose significantly, from 350,000 flights in 2021 to over 570,000 in 2022, with associated CO2 emissions increasing to more than 3.3 million tonnes over the same period.

The UK leads in all categories of private jet travel, with the busiest route, the most flights overall, and the most polluting route. The most popular route was between London and Paris, with 3,357 flights in total, while six of the top 10 routes included London.

Private jets are considered to be extremely polluting forms of transport and are often described as “polluting and pointless” by environmental groups such as Greenpeace. According to a study by Transport & Environment, private jets are between five and 14 times more polluting than commercial planes per passenger and 50 times more polluting than trains. Additionally, research indicates that 50% of all aviation emissions are caused by 1% of the world’s population.

The analysis by CE Delft found that almost one in four (39%) of all private jet flights in Europe were classified as “very short-haul,” meaning that they could have easily been replaced by train journeys. Greenpeace is calling for a ban on private jet travel, noting that many private jet flights are short-haul and could have easily been covered by train or bicycle. The group argues that private jets are “staggeringly polluting and generally pointless” and that if the UK government is serious about achieving net-zero emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, private jets should be the first to be targeted.

The analysis also identified some particularly inefficient routes, with the flight between Blackbushe and Farnborough in Hampshire, which is just 4.6 miles (7.4km) long, being the most carbon-intensive route in both 2021 and 2022. This is due to the short distance between the two airports, which could have easily been covered by a 30-minute bike ride.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has called for a super tax on private jet travel, which could be used to fund the transition to a green economy. She argues that private jets are a “climate-wrecking preserve of the mega-rich” and that the government is allowing privileged private jet flyers to flourish at the expense of people and the planet. The policy director at Greenpeace UK, Doug Parr, echoed these sentiments, stating that millions of people around the world are already facing the devastating effects of climate change, while a tiny minority continues to burn jet fuel “like there’s no tomorrow.”



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The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

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