After calling on fellow world leaders to do more in their fight against climate change, some travelers, such as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have flown home by private jets.
After participating for two days in a row at the COP 26 United Nations conference on climate change at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly traveled from Glasgow to London on a private jet.
While the prime minister’s spokesman defended the move, claiming that the plane runs partly on “sustainable aviation fuels” and emits about half the emissions of any other plane, the prime minister has been accused of hypocrisy by climate activists, although he is not the only one using the means This travel.
“It is important for the prime minister to be able to move around the country. It is clear that we faced significant time constraints,” the spokesperson said.
As the conference continued, international media reported that EU Commission President von der Leyen is a frequent user of so-called “air taxis”, small commercial aircraft that make short, on-demand flights.
The EU president has used these taxis on 32 of her trips, heading from Brussels to cities such as London, Paris and Strasbourg. She even made such a trip between Vienna and Bratislava, which would have taken one hour by train.
Her flights have been widely criticized by EU citizens.
“What or what!? Who in their right mind would fly from Vienna to Bratislava? That’s 80 km across the motorway. You waste more time in airport procedures than you “save” by flying instead of driving. There’s a reason there are no scheduled flights between Vienna and Bratislava” One Twitter user wrote regarding this issue.
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell is also a frequent user of these air taxis. The same used a private jet to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in July, where Turkish Airlines operates regular flights from Brussels.
At the end of last month, environmental group Greenpeace reported that more than a third of the busiest short-haul flights in European countries could be replaced by alternatives to trains. The group also called on European governments to increase rail travel in order to reduce pollution caused by aircraft.
Pledge to make travel more climate-friendly at the Glasgow Summit, where world leaders demonstrated their belief that tourism can become a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future by prioritizing community and ecosystem well-being and rapidly moving away from carbon and material-intensive ways to deliver visitor experiences.