World leaders accused of “pure hypocrisy” as jets line up at Prestwick Airport

ByDavid M. Conte

Nov 3, 2021

THE jets of world leaders pledging to tackle climate change at COP26 were photographed exclusively for The National at Prestwick Airport.

Our photographs, taken by photographer Colin Mearns, show the planes lined up at the Ayrshire facility having pumped thousands of tonnes of C02 into the atmosphere on their trip to Scotland.

Large Colombian Air Force and Honduran Air Force jets were also among those pictured at Prestwick Airport this evening.

Experts have said private jet flights to Scotland by hundreds of world leaders will produce more greenhouse gases than 1,600 Scots burn in a year, with groups accusing VIPs of double standards.

Private jets have been dubbed the “ranking of climate hypocrisy” and the “nadir of carbon inequality”.

Liz Murray, Head of Scottish Campaigns at Global Justice Now, said: “It is sheer hypocrisy that so many executives and businessmen have chosen to go to a global climate summit on jets emissions – and highlights the huge global inequality in theft.

“It is only a small global elite that is responsible for the vast majority of emissions from flights, with 1% of the world’s population being responsible for more than half of global aviation climate emissions.

“We don’t need billionaires who took advantage of the climate crisis to rush in and preach to us. We need these people and companies to pay their taxes so governments can fund a transition that empowers frontline workers and communities – and we need to stop giving the aviation industry an easy spin on its role in l climate emergency. ”

Planes, private jets and air force planes, including the Colombian Air Force and the Honduran Air Force, pictured at Prestwick Airport this evening Tuesday. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Joe Biden’s Air Force One is among the jets that have landed in Scotland – one of two planes the president’s entourage uses to fly around the world. His plane landed in Edinburgh on Monday.

The National:

A Japanese plane pictured at Prestwick Airport this Tuesday evening. World leaders met at the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow today and yesterday. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also flew to the summit with Downing Street defending his mode of transport due to time and agenda constraints.

Unlike most VIPs, royal couple William and Kate arrived in Glasgow yesterday by train to Central Station.

The National:

An Aerolinas Argentinas (Argentina) aircraft pictured at Prestwick Airport this evening. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

The average private jet trip emits 10 times more greenhouse gases per person than the same trip on an economy class flight, and 150 times more than a train trip.

The total warming impact of private jet flights from UK airports amounts to around one million tonnes of CO2 each year.

The National:

Prince William and Kate pictured at Glasgow Central Station on Monday. Photo Colin Mearns.

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

Over the weekend, Leo Murray, co-author of a 2019 report on aviation and climate policy, told the Sunday Mail: “Private jets powered by fossil fuels represent the nadir of inequality in emissions. carbon.

“Their continued use in the context of the escalating climate crisis can no longer be justified. ”

The National:

Joe Biden’s Air Force One arrives at Edinburgh Airport on Monday. Photo Gordon Terris.

Labor MP Nadia Whittome tweeted: “A private jet produces 10 times more emissions per person than an economy class flight. World leaders used 400 private jets for COP26, emitting as much CO2 as 1,600 Scots per person. year.”

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