Celebrities in the hot seat: do private jets pollute more?

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Last week, Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury company LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton), said in an interview with French radio Classique that he had sold the private jet he was using.

“No one can know where I’m going because now I charter planes,” said the executive, who also said he only uses planes when necessary.

This decision comes after a long pressure on social networks concerning the environmental impact of air transport.

The fact is that the amount of emissions of environmentally harmful gases per passenger carried is higher on these private planes.

According to the European NGO Transport and Environment, only 1% of the richest part of the population is responsible for 50% of the pollution generated by air transport. At the same time, private jets pollute between 5 and 14 times more than a commercial flight.

no journey

Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian pose on their private jets - Montage/Reproduction - Montage/Reproduction

Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian pose on their private jets

Image: Edition/Reproduction

Several celebrities have come under fire for the indiscriminate use of jets. In July, Socialite Kim Kardashian’s plane took just ten minutes in the USA. Although it is not clear whether she was on board or not, it is estimated that more than a ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) was emitted in this short period of time.

The socialite was also embroiled in another controversy in May when she and her sister, Kylie Jenner, each flew in their own jets to the wedding of another sister, Kourtney Kardashian, which was held in Italy. The route for both was very similar (origin and destination), but one didn’t give a lift to the other.

Jenner’s plane has also been spotted by systems that track the flights of celebrity jets on social media over short distances. In one of them, her plane landed at an airport less than 20 km from her home and then left for another, 40 km away, near the headquarters of her cosmetics company.

the flight lasted 17 minutesand the journey by car would take around 50 minutes, with much lower pollutant emissions.

These flights, among others, have been criticized not only by environmentalists, but by people uncomfortable with the attitude taken by celebrities, especially those who say they are worried about global warming.

Top 10: In August, the British marketing agency Yard, published a ranking of celebrities who pollute the most with the use of private jets. Here is a list of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by each celebrity’s jets from the start of 2022 through July 19:

  • Taylor Swift – 2,971.50 tons
  • Drake – 2,904.25
  • Floyd Mayweather – 2,205.22 tons
  • Jay-Z (in partnership with Puma) – 2,107.72 tons
  • Kim Kardashian – 1,752.51 tons
  • A-Rod – 1,731.10 tons
  • Steven Spielberg – 1,485.69 toneladas
  • Mark Wahlberg – 1,443.27 tons
  • Blake Shelton – 1,357.85 tons
  • Jack Nicklaus – 1,129.66 tons

The calculations made by Yard take into account the fuel consumption per flight hour of each aircraft (some consume much more than others). It is also important to say that, not necessarily, celebrities were present on every flight.

Some of these flights are usually done for maintenance purposes and in other situations just to store the aircraft in places where renting a hangar is cheaper.

Compensation: For Ricardo Rosário, environmental lawyer at the firm SFCB, it is necessary to differentiate whether the traveler does so for the company for which he works or for his personal use only. Each of these modalities will have a different impact on the way travel is perceived, whether it is essential or not, for example.

“The ideal is for those who fly to make an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. With this, it is possible to make offsets, with the purchase of carbon credits or other measures”, explains Rosario.

The lawyer also clarifies that anyone flying should be aware of three pollution-related litters that the operation can cause:

– Direct, which are those resulting from the flight itself, with emissions from the aircraft’s engines, for example.
– Indirect, which are the emissions linked to the energy consumption linked to the flight
– There is yet another type of indirect emission, which is carried out by suppliers related to the flight, such as the companies that supply the aircraft, airport operators, among others

By keeping this in mind and planning accordingly, Rosário says, the environmental problem can be more easily circumvented, including more rational use of these flights.

It is also possible that these celebrities adhere to carbon reduction schemes such as Corsia (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). In this program, the objective is for the aviation sector to maintain its growth without increasing pollutant emissions and with the consequent compensation of emissions.


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