Dozens of climate activists have disrupted Europe's largest private jet trade fair by chaining themselves to aircraft to protest against the sector's carbon emissions.
The demonstrators on behalf of Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion also attached themselves to the entrance gates of the event at Geneva airport in the hope of preventing prospective buyers from entering the annual show.
The activists, who were calling for a global ban on the use of private jets because of their carbon footprint, stuck tobacco-style health warning labels on some of their jets at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition EBACE, saying private jets burn our future, kill our planet and fuel inequality Mira Kapfinger, a activist from Stay Grounded, a network uniting more than 200 climate crisis campaign groups across the world, said: While many cannot afford food or rent any more, the super-rich wreck our planet, unless we put an end to it.
Beyond banning private jets, it s also time to end air miles schemes that reward frequent flying and instead tax frequent flyers. Klara Maria Schenk, a transport campaigner for Greenpeace, said: Europe's super-rich have popped champagne behind closed doors at EBACE for over 20 years, while shopping for the latest toxic private jets.
Private jet sales are rising, with the 1% contributing hugely unfairly to the climate crisis while the most vulnerable people deal with the damage. It's time for politicians to stop this unjust and excessive pollution and ban private jets. The sales of private jets are expected to reach their highest ever level this year, according to a report by the US Institute for Policy Studies thinktank and Patriotic Millionaires - a group of super-rich people advocating for higher taxes on the wealthiest in society.
The global fleet of private jets has doubled in the past two decades, and there were 5.3 m private flights last year more than ever.
Sales of pre-owned and new private jets are forecast to increase 27.6 bn this year, up from $34.1 bn last year.
Although private jet travel contributes less than 4% of the global aviation market, it generates about 10 times as much greenhouse gas for each passenger.
Climate emissions from private jets have skyrocketed by nearly a quarter since the pandemic, when flying of all types was nearly halted in many countries for an extended period.
The Patriotic Millionaires group wants to raise the tax on secondhand private jets by 10 percent and increase the tax on new aircraft by 5 percent. This would have raised $2.6 billion in taxes last year, the report said. The government also wants at least a doubling of fuel taxes on private jets, compared to commercial jets.
In a report published by the Patriotic Millionaires, Musk bought a new jet, made an estimated 171 flights in 2022, including a six-minute flight, and contributed to the consumption of more than 800,000 litres of jet fuel and was responsible for more than 2,000 tonnes of CO emissions.
If the proposed extra levies were implemented, he would have paid $4 million in private jet taxes last year.