Climate Activists Disrupt Europe’s Largest Private Jet Trade Fair, Calling for Ban on Private Jets to Combat Carbon Emissions

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In a powerful display of protest, climate activists representing Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion, and Scientist Rebellion disrupted the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), the continent’s largest private jet trade fair. Chaining themselves to aircraft and attaching tobacco-style health warning labels to the jets, the demonstrators aimed to draw attention to the sector’s significant carbon emissions. The activists sought to prevent prospective buyers from entering the event, located at Geneva airport, while advocating for a global ban on private jets due to their detrimental carbon footprint.

The labels on the planes boldly stated messages such as “burn our future,” “kill our planet,” and “fuel inequality.” Mira Kapfinger, a campaigner from Stay Grounded, emphasized the urgency of the issue, condemning the environmental impact caused by the super-rich while many struggle to meet basic needs. Climate emissions from private aviation have risen by nearly a quarter since the pandemic-induced slowdown in air travel. To address this concerning trend, the Patriotic Millionaires group proposed a 10% tax on secondhand private jet purchases and a 5% tax on new aircraft. Additionally, they called for a significant increase in fuel taxes on private jet travel compared to commercial aviation.

These measures, as outlined in their report, could have generated $2.6 billion in tax revenue last year. While private jet travel comprises only 4% of the global aviation market, it is responsible for approximately ten times the greenhouse gas emissions per passenger. Sales of both pre-owned and new private jets are projected to reach $34.6 billion this year, reflecting a slight increase from the previous year. The activists’ disruptive actions aimed to highlight the need for immediate and comprehensive climate solutions, including the banning of private jets and the taxation of frequent flyers. As the impact of climate change becomes increasingly apparent, these demonstrations serve as a reminder that urgent measures are necessary to address carbon emissions from the aviation industry, particularly the high-polluting private jet sector.

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