BRITISH think tank the Common Wealth has called for a ban on the use of private jets saying they are a threat to the environment given that they create 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide in the UK alone annually.
Over the last decade, there has been a global campaign to reduce green house gas emissions, with governments agreeing to move towards the user of cleaner energy. However, despite the move towards the use of electric cars and new power sources like solar and wind energy, no moves have been made to cut the use of aviation fuel.
According to the think tank, UK private jet travel contributes 1m tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere per year, which is the same amount that 450,000 cars create annually. According to a recent study it just published, in 2018 alone there were 128,000 private jet flights between the UK and the European Union (EU), representing 6% of all air traffic, and each passenger created 10 times as much greenhouse gas as an economy class traveller on a commercial flight and 150 times more than those travelling by train.
Common Wealth has subsequently called for a ban on all private jet travel by 2025 in the hope that it will encourage companies to create greener alternatives, including electric-based airplanes. Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s chief scientist, added that taking a private jet is one of the most environmentally damaging ways to travel.
He added: “Flying in general is the most carbon-intensive mode of transport but this varies according to the model of plane and the number of passengers. However, as a rough guide, private jets are approximately 10 times as polluting as airliners per passenger mile.
“Given that airliners are themselves are up to 10 times as polluting as trains, one mile in a private jet could be worse for the climate than a hundred mile train journey. Also, it doesn’t fit with a net zero future, where all countries and industries need to actually cut their emissions, not just trade them back and forth.”
Like many other nations, the UK is committed to net zero emissions by 2050, aiming to be completely carbon neutral in 31 years. Many other countries have also pledged to join the Paris Agreement, which sets individual goals for countries to contribute to the climate change effort.
In June, Heathrow Airport unveiled its plans to add a third runway by 2026 which would see even more flights depart from the seventh busiest airport in the world. In 2018 alone, Heathrow Airport reported that it saw on average 1,303 air transport movements per day.
Dr Parr added: “The most important measure we need is for the government to cancel high-carbon infrastructure like Heathrow’s third runway but on an individual level we can all help by reducing the number of flights we take. In a climate emergency, everyone needs to reduce their carbon emissions wherever possible.”