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Social media users pressure celebrities to limit use of private jets

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From the American singer Taylor Swift to the French businessman Bernard Arnault, pressure is mounting on celebrities, political figures and big businessmen to limit your movements in private jets, responsible for a significant carbon footprint.

After posting a photo of his plane and his partner on Instagram in mid-July, Kylie Jenner was called a “climate criminal” by netizens.

With private jets, celebrities produce tons of carbon dioxide

“Polluter and criminal,” another user tweeted about director Steven Spielberg accused of taking a 28-minute flight.

Countless humorous memes, photos and videos circulated mocking Taylor Swift after the publication of an analysis of the marketing agency Yardwhich classified it as “the most polluting celebrity of the year“, with 170 flights since the beginning of the year.

Yard relied on data from the Twitter account Celebrity Jets, which tracks celebrity flights through public online data.

Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old student, launched this account. It started in June 2020 by following Elon Musk’s private jet and now has 30 accounts tracking sports stars, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, and even Russian oligarchs.

He inspired other Internet users such as the 35-year-old aeronautical engineer who created the account in April I Fly Bernardabout the routes of French billionaires’ planes to put pressure on them about their carbon footprint.

What I am trying to denounce is the use of private planes as taxis“, explains the young man, who prefers to remain anonymous, pointing out the numerous national or European flights made.

“In Europe, three quarters of these flights could be made by train,” he denounces William Todts, CEO of Transport & Environment, which brings together European NGOs from the sector.

More polluting than a classic flight

The airline industry is responsible for between 2 percent and 3 percent of global CO2 emissions but, according to a Transport & Environment report published in May, flights cause a carbon footprint per passenger between 5 and 14 times higher than commercial flights and 50 times higher than the train.

On the other hand, private aviation has been booming since the pandemic, as its customers want to avoid the suppression of flights and promiscuity in the face of covid-19.

Some stars reacted to the pressure on social networks. Last week, a spokesman for Taylor Swift told the press that she “regularly lends her jet to other people“.

“Attributing most or all of these flights to him is totally incorrect,” he details.

Rapper Drake, singled out for a 14-minute flight between Toronto and Hamilton, responded on Instagram that the plane had been moved to park elsewhere, “no one was on board,” he claimed.

Even worse if it flew empty“, says Beatrice Jarrige, project manager of the Shift Project association.

Illustrative image | Shutterstock

In France, a spokesman for the Bouygues group assures that the plane followed by I Fly Bernardpresented as that of Martin Bouygues, belongs to the group and “is used by several collaborators”.

Indicates that CO2 emissions from the plane are offset by reforestation projects, a solution criticized because it does not reduce emissions substantially.

Other French billionaires like Bernard Arnault, Jean Charles Decaux and Vincent Bolloré, also affected by the Twitter account, they did not want to comment.

Jarrige hopes this social media movement will turn into a political action.

“This is not about totally banning flights, but it is necessary that the richest make an effort of sobriety“, he specifies, advocating investments in the railway.

For Todts, jet owners should, at a minimum, require that they run on biofuels instead of kerosene, as this would encourage aircraft manufacturers to develop these technologies.

In September 2021, the business aviation industry deemed these sustainable fuels “key” to achieving the 2050 carbon neutrality target.

hc

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Reference from www.milenio.com

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