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‘Masterclass of Hypocrisy,’ Private Jet Use at Davos Attracts Severe Criticism Due to High Emissions

Private jet use during Davos meetings in May 2022 pushed up carbon emissions by four times, with event participants coming under criticism for pushing the climate change agenda on one hand while not undertaking any actions to rein in their own excessive emissions.

During the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos between May 22–26, 2022, 1,040 private jets flew in and out of airports serving Davos, according to a Jan. 13 report by Greenpeace. This caused carbon dioxide emissions from private jets to be four times greater than when compared to an average week.

The number of jets coming in and going out of Davos had doubled during the week, resulting in 9,700 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to roughly 350,000 average cars. The majority of these jets are attributed to private flights undertaken by participants for the WEF meeting.

Klara Maria Schenk, a transport campaigner for Greenpeace’s European mobility campaign, called the private jet use at Davos a “distasteful masterclass of hypocrisy” given that WEF claims to be committed to the Paris Climate Target of keeping the climate warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Eighty percent of the global population who suffer from the consequences of “climate-damaging aviation emissions” have never even flown, she said, according to a Jan. 13 press release.

“Meanwhile, the rich and powerful flock to Davos in ultra-polluting, socially inequitable private jets to discuss climate and inequality behind closed doors,” said Schenk.

Private Flight Pollution

Of all the private jets tracked during the Davos meeting week, 53 percent were found to be short-haul flights below 750 kilometers which the Greenpeace report says could have been done with car or train trips. Out of these, 38 percent were ultra-short distance flights under 500 kilometers, with the shortest flight just 21 kilometers.

France, Italy, and Germany were found to be the three nations that recorded the highest number of arrivals and departures out of airports in Davos.

“Davos has a perfectly adequate railway station, still these people can’t even be bothered to take the train for a trip as short as 21 km. Do we really believe that these are the people to solve the problems the world faces?” Schenk said.

On a per-passenger kilometer basis, private jets are the most polluting mode of transportation. The issue of private jet emissions came to attention last year after several public figures were criticized for using these jets to make short journeys.

In the European Union, private jets are not subjected to regulation. But in 2022, France led other nations in the bloc to push for regulating private jet emissions in the region.

Jets Versus Train Emissions, Greenpeace Leftist Agenda

In an article last year, Kelvin Chan, a business writer from London who works with the Associated Press noted that his 870-km train trip to Davos ended up outputting only 12.2 kilograms of carbon dioxide per passenger. In contrast, if he had taken a flight, the same trip would have resulted in 197 kilograms of emissions.

Private jets are estimated to emit 10 times more carbon dioxide per person compared to commercial flights and roughly 50 times when compared to trains. In total, aviation accounts for around 2 percent of carbon emissions globally.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace, the organization behind the Davos private jet emission report, has faced intense scrutiny for allegedly hyping up the issue of climate change.

In an email obtained by The Epoch Times in September, Patrick Moore, who founded Greenpeace and left the organization in 1986, points out that the group was “hijacked” by the political left when they realized that the environmental movement came with money and power.

Leftist political activists from Europe and North America have changed Greenpeace to a political fundraising organization from a science-based one, he stated.

The campaigns run by environmental groups against CO2, plastic, and nuclear energy are misguided and designed to make people think that the world will come to an end unless they destroy their economies and cripple their civilizations, Moore wrote.

Naveen Athrappully

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.

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