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To: Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport
Ban Private Jets
The world faces a climate emergency with more and more lives being lost each year due to fires, famines and floods as temperatures rise. Accordingly we must cut net carbon emissions to zero as soon as possible and eliminate all profligate uses of fossil fuels immediately. The carbon emissions of passengers on a private jet are typically at least four times those incurred by passengers on commercial domestic flights. This is no longer acceptable.
The BBC Reality Check Team has estimated (November 3rd, 2021) the per capita carbon emissions incurred by flying from Rome to Glasgow in a private jet. Taking one of the most popular private jets, the 9 seater Cessna Citation XLS as an example, they calculated per capita emissions of 0.66 Tonnes of CO2 for the journey, excluding radiative forcing, based on a full plane load. The flight distance is very close to 2000 km, so this works out at 0.33 kgCO2 per kilometre.
In contrast, the average per capita carbon emissions incurred by short-haul flight passengers is only about 0.086 kgCO2 per kilometre, excluding radiative forcing (Reference (1)) – 26% of the minimum figure for the Cessna.
Reference (1) “Business Travel- Air” tab of 2018 UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting given in “Copy of Conversion_Factors_2018_-_Full_set__for_advanced_users__v01-01.xls” published by BEIS and DEFRA
Why is this important?
We have all got to get serious about fighting climate change by taking deliberate steps to reduce our carbon emissions. However, it is easiest for the big emitters, such as the users of private jets, to make big reductions. Simple morality dictates that the wealthy should cease endangering the lives of the poor by wasteful behaviour. However, the damage incurred by private jet flights is so disproportionate that legislation is needed to prevent them.