A demand for banning the flight of all private jet to and from the United Kingdom by 2025 was has been made by a British thinktank with close ties to the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn because, it said, such flights add on to the environment emissions equivalent to emission of about 450,000 cars per year.
In 2018, there were 128,000 flights between UK and EU airports using private jets, the Common Wealth thinktank said in its report exposing the scale of fossil fuel private jet emissions. The report stated that the flight numbers were equivalent to about 6 per cent of the total air traffic in the UK every year. Additionally, every year 14,000 more trips were also made to destinations outside Europe in 2018 by the private jets. The thinktank believes that putting such a ban would hasten the development of electric jet planes.
The impact on the climate change because of the emissions from the private flights to and from UK airports is approximately equal to 1m tonnes of CO2 equivalent every year which is almost equal to the total emission made by around 450,000 typical cars that ply on Britain’s roads, the thinktank said.
The amount of emission originating from one private flight from London to New York is almost the same as driving a typical car in the UK for a period of four years without stopping, the thinktank said. The development of electric alternatives would be boosted by a ban in five years’ time, it said.
The party would examine the report and “consult with industry on the introduction of a phase-out date for the use of fossil fuel private jets”, said UK’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald. “Climate targets cannot be met without curbing pollution from air travel, and a passenger on a private jet produces 10 times the emissions of someone on a regular flight. This simply cannot be ignored,” he added.
Seven times as much greenhouse gas as a flight in business class on a typical airliner is emitted by a typical private jet passenger journey within Europe, according to the Common Wealth assessment. It is also equivalent to 10 times the emission of flying economy class and about 150 times more than undertaking the same journey in high-speed rail.
Empty leg journeys – which are the repositioning of private jets according to the convenience of the super-rich and corporate customers using them, account for about 40 per cent of the flights of the private jest, shows industry estimates. As few as five passengers are carried by private jest even when they are filled to capacity.
Since London is the home to the most billionaires in Europe and as one of the world’s biggest financial centres, therefore five airports around London is used for to-and-fro flights for almost half of all private jet traffic in Britain. With almost 15,000 private aircraft departures in 2017, the busiest was the Luton airport, roughly an hour north of the capital. The other airports are Farnborough, Biggin Hill, Stansted and Northolt.
“We believe that an imminent ban on landing at UK airports in a fossil-powered private jet would help to focus the minds of some of the wealthiest people on Earth on the urgent need to develop fully electric planes,” the report said.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)