‘Climate criminals’: social networks scrutinize celebrity jet trips

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After sharing a photo of her plane and friend on Instagram in mid-July, reality TV star Kylie Jenner has been called a “climate criminal” by Internet users. “Contaminant and criminal” was another tweet about director Steven Spielberg, who was accused of making a 28-minute flight.

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Countless “memes”, humorous photos or videos also circulated to make fun of singer Taylor Swift after an analysis by marketing agency Yard, which was rated as “the most polluting celebrity of the year” with 170, was released Friday. flights since the beginning of the year.

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

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

It inspired other Internet users, such as Sébastien*, a 35-year-old aeronautical engineer who created the account “I Fly Bernard” in April to question the carbon footprints of the routes of French billionaires’ planes.

It’s time to take stock for the month of July 2022 (6 aircraft tracked):
– number of flights: 53 ??
– 123 flight hours ??
– shortest flight: 20min?
– Emitted CO2: 520 tons ???
That’s the equivalent of 52 years, 1/2 a century of emissions from the average French!
[1/7] pic.twitter.com/FAhm1DrOCy

— Bernard the Flying (@i_fly_Bernard) August 1, 2022

“What I am trying to condemn is their use of private jets as taxis,” he explains, pointing to many domestic or European flights operated by airplanes.

5 to 14 times more pollutants than a conventional flight

“Three-quarters of these flights in Europe can be made by train,” says William Todts, Managing Director of Transport and Environment, which brings together European NGOs in the industry.

The airline industry is responsible for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, but according to a Transport and Environment report published in May, private flights have a carbon footprint per passenger five to fourteen times greater than commercial flights and 50 times greater than trains.

Private aviation has also been booming since the pandemic, with customers wanting to avoid flight cancellations and confusion in the face of the virus.

Some stars have reacted to the pressure from social networks. Last week, a spokesperson for Taylor Swift claimed in the press that she “regularly lends her jet to others”. “Giving him most or all of these trips is totally wrong,” she continues.

Rapper Drake, who was selected for the fourteen-minute flight from Toronto to Hamilton, responded on Instagram that the plane was moved to park somewhere else, “there was no one on that flight.”

“It’s even worse if it flies empty,” suffocates Béatrice Jarrige, project manager at Shift Project.

In France, a spokesperson for the Bouygues group assures that the plane tracked by “I Fly Bernard”, presented as belonging to Martin Bouygues, belongs to the group and is “used by several employees”. He points out that the aircraft’s CO2 emissions are offset by afforestation projects, a solution that has been criticized for not reducing emissions significantly.

Bernard Arnault, Jean-Charles Decaux and Vincent Bolloré, who were also targeted by the Twitter account, declined to comment.

Crossover weekend for our billionaires too! Paris-Seattle flight for François-Henri Pinault’s plane. I hope there weren’t too many traffic jams. pic.twitter.com/waSUiHW8WE

— Bernard the Flying (@i_fly_Bernard) 30 July 2022

Béatrice Jarrige hopes this social media movement will translate into political action. “It’s not a question of a total ban on flights, but the wealthiest need to strive to be sober,” she states as She begs for investment in railroads.

According to William Todts, jet owners should at least stipulate that they run on biofuels rather than kerosene, as this will push aircraft manufacturers to develop these technologies.

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

* The name has been changed because the person wanted to remain anonymous.

Source From: Google News

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