Brussels – The number of private jet flights in Europe increased by 64% last year, and carbon-dioxide emissions from private flights more than doubled, according to new research commissioned by Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe. Greenpeace is calling for the EU and national governments to ban private jets as part of a plan to tackle the climate crisis in a more equitable way.
The average carbon emissions of each of the private jet flights in Europe in 2022 was 5.9 tonnes of CO2, more than driving an average petrol car for 23,000 kilometres – or driving from Paris to Rome 16 times. The research also found that 55% of private flights in Europe last year were for distances under 750 kilometres.
Greenpeace EU transport campaigner Thomas Gelin said: “Vulnerable people are on the front lines of climate destruction, and are the ones pushed into poverty by spiking fuel prices, but have done the least to cause these crises. It’s hugely unfair that rich people can wreck the climate this way, in just one flight polluting more than driving a car 23,000 kilometres. Pollution for wasteful luxury has to be the first to go, we need a ban on private jets.”
The research, conducted by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft, found that European private jet traffic soared over the last three years. The tally rose from 118,756 private flights in 2020, to 350,078 in 2021 and 572,806 in 2022, emitting over 5.3 million tonnes of CO2 in total.
The countries with the most private jet flights in Europe in 2022 were France, the UK and Germany. The three most popular destinations of private jets in Europe were Nice (Côte d’Azur), Paris, and Geneva. The busiest private jet route in Europe last year was Paris-London, with an average of nine private flights between those cities each day. This route has a direct train connection that takes just over two hours and has 14 trains running each way per day.
The French government has been pushing for the EU to tighten rules on private jets, short-haul flights and very cheap flights. At a meeting of EU transport ministers in December, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Portugal expressed their support for France’s call.
Greenpeace is calling for an EU ban on private jets, and for a ban on short-haul flights where a reasonable train connection already exists.
Thomas Gelin, Greenpeace EU transport campaigner: +32 473 57 04 46, [email protected]
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]
For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. We do not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties. Greenpeace has over three million supporters, and 26 independent national and regional organisations with offices in more than 55 countries.
EU Transparency Register: 9832909575-41