Rich and famous: their undeniable impact on our environment
Rich and famous: their undeniable impact on our environment
Set 8, 2022

Private jet’s climate impact reality

We can’t overlook the environmental impact of private jets. Our planet is suffering from global warming and most of us are fighting to reduce our carbon footprint, but some celebrities and laws are making it worse.

Overview

  • Private jet owners are allowed to deduct the entire cost of an aircraft on their tax report
  • The shortest flight made by a celebrity was ONLY 9 minutes long
  • Taylor Swift was the biggest polluter of the first half of 2022 with 170 flights
  • Private jets pollute 50 times more than trains
  • Everyone on earth should limit their carbon footprint to a total of 2.3 metric tons per year to avoid potential climate disaster according to Oxfam research

How bad are private jet emissions?

Private jet CO2 emissions have increased in recent years and they are rising faster than commercial aviation emissions. In general, private jets are 5 to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes per passenger and 50 times more polluting than trains. A recent report from the United Nations warns that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history and we are absolutely on a “fast track” to a climate disaster if global greenhouse gas emissions don’t start dropping by 2025. Scientists argue that it is “now or never” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Researchers recommend that to keep things sustainable, everyone on earth should limit their carbon footprint to a total of 2.3 metric tons per year.


Private jets have a disproportionate impact on the environment. A single private jet emits 2 metric tons of CO2 in just one hour, while the average person emits around 7 metric tons of CO2 during an entire year.

Celebrities with the worst CO2 private jet emissions

Celebrities often have certain business trips, tours, meetings, or even family and friends all over the world, so they have to fly to some particular destination. But there are situations where people use their private jets for short trips to save time and don’t think about how nature is being harmed. It is known that air transport is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. 

Pop singer Taylor Swift was found to be one of the biggest CO2 polluters in 2022 that is caused by the use of her private jet, according to a Yard research study. Since January 2022, her private jet has made a total of 170 flights, and the shortest was only 36 minutes. She argues that she lets her friends use her private jet, but that doesn’t excuse her from contributing significantly to the planet’s pollution. Another extreme was the 9-minute flight of the famous entrepreneur Kylie Jenner, which caused public outrage. 

An expert in decarbonizing transport at the University of Oxford, Dr. Debbie Hopkins said to BBC News: “A huge amount of fuel is used during takeoff and landing of a plane, no matter how many people you have on board. So an already polluting mode of transport (commercial aviation) becomes even worse (with private jets)“. Private jets are adapted to shorter flights, and with a large number of short-duration flights, there is a high probability of accelerating global warming.

 

CO2 emissions and their impact

No matter whether carbon dioxide is a vital part of the environment, we need to be concerned about how it is affecting our planet. The major part of greenhouse gas emissions is Carbon Dioxide Emissions (CO2), which occur as a result of the burning of substances such as solid, liquid, or gas fuel.

The exceeding amount of it leads to the increase of the temperature on Earth and drastically affects the environment: weather, wildfires, dying species, water level, etc. According to “Transport & Environment,” aviation’s climate impact and especially private jet’s climate impact is disproportionate and is caused by a very small group of people.

 

CO2 Intensity on commercial jets and private jets

Data for the line chart was taken from Transport & Environment

Taxes on private jets

Owners of a private jet are allowed to deduct the entire costs of an aircraft on their tax report, in the exact year of their jet purchase, if they use it exclusively for business reasons. Looking only at the cost of these planes, we can go from a light jet, $900,000, to an Airliner, around $500 million. The maintenance can be high, and the cost for one flight can go up to $12,000. The European Commission, in July 2021, decided to help private jet owners in accord with Compare Private Planes by excluding them from the new fuel tax. They don’t have to pay this excise even while using the plane for recreational purposes, while everyone else does, when buying a commercial airplane ticket, even for business reasons. There are, around the globe, different protests against the new laws on private jets, all with the hope that something will change shortly.

What does all this mean to us?

Right now, the private jet industry’s size is around 25.87 billion dollars. Despite the recommendations of scientists and researchers about the impact these markets have on our planet, the projection is that this business will grow to $38 billion by 2029 based on a report from Fortune Business Insights. The reports on the danger of the future risk of CO2 pollution speak clearly: If pollution is not reduced through, for example, higher taxation and a more friendly approach to the environment, it can lead to significant climate disasters and thus difficult environmental restoration.

 

 

Sources

Yard’s research study is based on the analysis of the Celebrity Jets Twitter account, where the overall analysis of celebrity private jet pollution took place in the first half of 2022.

The official source is ADS-B Exchange, where both celebrity and all unfiltered flight tracking data were obtained.

Transportenvironment, United Nations, Buzzfeed News, Weareyard.com, Ourworldindata, Nationalgeographic, Jetbee.aero, Iba.aero, Jet-a1-fuel, Compare Private Planes, Stratosjets, Bankrate, Fortune Business Insights

 

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