Greenpeace releases damning report on private jet usage in Europe

Hint: It’s not looking good for climate change.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Private jets are notoriously bad for the environment.
Private jets are notoriously bad for the environment.

Timothy McKay/iStock 

A new report by Greenpeace is shedding a damning light on which European nations are using private jets most often, significantly contributing to climate change.

“The European Union aims to emit 55% less greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to become climate neutral by 2050 in order to contribute to the global effort to address climate chang,” says the report in its introduction only to go forward and explain how carbon-intensive private jets are.

“Private flights have significantly higher emissions per passenger kilometre than other modes of transport. According to Transport and Environment, private jets are 5 to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial flights, and 50 times more polluting than trains (Transport & Environment, 2021).

“Some private jets emit two tonnes of CO2 per hour (Transport & Environment, 2021), while the carbon footprint of inhabitants of the EU27 was equal to 6.8 tonnes of per person in 2019 (Eurostat, 2022). According to Eurostat, the sector “transportation and storage” is the sector with the highest increase of GHG emissions (Eurostat, 2023). Within the transport sector, the largest increases of GHG emissions up to  2030 are projected in the aviation sector (European Environment Agency, 2022).”

Very short haul rides

Making matters worse is the fact that around a quarter of the 572,806 private jet journeys taken in 2022 were ‘very short haul.” This means that these distances (under 500km) could have easily been train trips. 

“Private jets are staggeringly polluting and generally pointless,” told EuroNewsGreen Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace UK. “Millions of people around the world are facing climate chaos, losing livelihoods or worse, while a tiny minority are burning jet fuel like there’s no tomorrow.”

Greenpeace further estimated that private jets took off from the UK every six minutes last year amounting to a total of 90,256 jets departing from the country in 2022. France was a close second in terms of most trips taken with 84,885 and Germany was third on the list with 58,424 departures.

The report further indicated that the number of private jets from the UK increased by a staggering 75 percent in 2022.

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