A private jet ban is on the wishlist for some attending the European transport ministers meeting this October.
In recent months, Twitter accounts tracking the flights of specific private jets have proliferated, making it public how many miles their owners travel and therefore how much they contribute to global emissions. For instance, the research firm Yard alleges that Taylor Swift’s private jet, one of the worst offenders worldwide, has made 170 flights since January, most of them less than two hours. She generated a total of over 8,200 tonnes of emissions jet-hopping, or over 1,000 times more than the average person’s total annual emissions.
Also on the worst offenders list is Steven Spielberg, with 61 flights so far this year, including an 18-minute flight from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, a distance he could have driven in under an hour. To add insult to injury, he was in the Netherlands in that instance to speak against climate change.
Former French Minister of Transport Clément Beaune wants to put a total private jet ban on the agenda of Europe’s current transport ministers in October. While he thinks it unlikely to pass, he hopes it will open a dialogue about heavily regulating private jet use.
French Green National Secretary Julien Bayou is in the same camp, though he wants to ensure any such ban not be limited to France.
It’s time to “ban all private jets,” Bayou said in an interview with newspaper Libération. “This measure would have an impact on a very small number of people, with immense ecological benefits.”
“Some people are totally disconnected and take the plane like others take the metro,” Bayou added.
“When the government refuses to tax companies who are making huge profits from the energy crisis we’re experiencing, it sends a clear message: impunity for the richest,” explained Bayou.
“How can we ask the population to make an effort if the richest are exempt from everything?”