Climate change: What influence did the scores of private jets that flew heads of state to Glasgow have on the environment?
The use of private jets by world leaders and other participants arriving for the COP26 summit has sparked outrage.
What, however, is the true impact of this mode of transportation, and what options do leaders have?
What is the total number of private jets that have arrived in Glasgow?
In recent days, aviation fans at Prestwick Airport (which serves Glasgow) have enjoyed an uncommon form of plane activity.
It hasn’t simply been special planes transporting heads of state and dignitaries that have landed; cargo planes with helicopters and motorcade vehicles have also arrived.
For example, we know that US President Joe Biden took one of his armored cars, dubbed “the Beast,” with him. On Sunday, he was in Rome with one of them.
Since Oct. 27, FlightRadar24, an internet service that measures air traffic, has kept track of the number of non-commercial flights arriving at Glasgow, Prestwick, and Edinburgh airports, excluding cargo and local travel.
There were 182 such flights, which was more than double the figure for the prior six days. Some flights by presidential aircraft, such as Biden’s plane, Air Force One, are not included in this number.
According to Cirium, an aviation analysis business, 76 private aircraft, or VIP flights, arrived in and around Glasgow in the four days leading up to November 1st.
Private planes have also taken passengers from Paisley Airport (near Glasgow) to Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire, a distance of 41 kilometers, where they have been grounded.
How much of a carbon impact does private jet travel have?
The combustion of fuels produces greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). Global warming is aided by these gases.
Air travel is known to emit far more emissions per kilometer than any other mode of transportation.
However, they differ significantly in terms of size, load levels, and efficiency. Private planes emit substantially more pollutants per passenger than commercial planes.
There are many different types of private jets, but the Cessna Citation XLS, which is consistently the most popular, consumes an average of 225 gallons (1,023 liters) of aviation fuel every hour.
A private jet flight from Rome to Glasgow, which many of the G20 leaders chose to attend COP26, would take roughly two hours and 45 minutes and require 2,813 liters of jet fuel.
According to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), every liter of jet fuel burnt emits 2.54 kilos of CO2. As a result, a single flight would emit 7.1 tons of CO2.
However, BEIS advises that the CO2 emissions figures be multiplied by 1.9 to account for non-carbon dioxide emissions generated by airplanes at high altitudes, which, according to scientists, exacerbate the warming effect.
As a result, the total CO2 emissions for this aircraft would be 13.5 tons, and each of the nine passengers would be accountable for 1.5 tons throughout their voyage.
Our world leaders’ emissions would have been a quarter of a ton each if they had taken a commercial airline from Rome to Glasgow. Commercial flights use more fuel per hour, but they can transport a lot more people than a private plane, resulting in lower emissions per person.
“Regardless of the number of passengers on board, a large amount of gasoline is consumed during takeoff and landing. As a result, commercial aviation, which is already an extremely polluting method of transportation, becomes but (with private jets) “Dr. Debbie Hopkins, a specialist on transportation decarbonization at the University of Oxford, agrees.
Was it really necessary for them to show up?
President Biden attended a climate meeting of international leaders in April, at which a number of promises were made.
Many people at the summit, however, have emphasized the importance of meeting in person.
Sierra Leone’s president stated, “I’ve traveled a long distance to be here because we’re discussing Sierra Leone’s difficulties and the environment. How will they know if I don’t show up?”
Face-to-face conversations, according to UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, are required for “crunch time negotiations” like these.
Why was it necessary for the G20 summit to be held in Rome?
Another concern circulating on social media is why the G20 conference, which took place prior to COP26, was forced to take place in Rome.
The G20 is an organization made up of major economies and the European Union.
They convene an annual summit, which is hosted by the country that is currently serving as the group’s alternating presidency.
COP26 would have followed the G20 summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, if it had been held in November 2020 as planned.
Article By Gerluxe