DAVOS FORUM: when private jets reinforce the climate crisis

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FORUM DE DAVOS : quand les jets privés renforcent la crise climatique ©DushlikShutterstock

During the week of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2022, CO2 emissions from private jets flying into Davos were four times higher than usual. This is the finding of the Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft in a recently published study. Commissioned by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Greenpeace, the study is published on the eve of the 53rd edition of the Davos Forum, which takes place from 16 to 20 January 2023, under the theme "Cooperation in a fragmented world".

Africans are burdened by the effects of climate change while the use of private jets at the Davos Fora reinforces global warming. A new analysis commissioned by Greenpeace International shows that 1,040 private jets flew to and from airports serving the Swiss mountain resort of Davos during the week of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2022, resulting in private jet-related CO2 emissions four times higher than the average week.

The study, conducted by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft, reveals that the number of private jet flights to and from airports serving Davos doubled during the World Economic Forum 2022 meeting, causing CO2 emissions equivalent to 350,000 average cars over the same period. Of all these flights, 53% were short-haul flights of less than 750km that could easily have been train or car journeys, and 38% were ultra-short flights of less than 500km. The shortest flight recorded was just 21 km. According to the analysis, the countries with the highest number of arrivals and departures from Davos airports were Germany, France and Italy.

Private jets pollute at the expense of regions like Africa

According to a study by Transport & Environment, private jets are 5 to 14 times more polluting than commercial aircraft (per passenger), and 50 times more polluting than trains. In 2018, 50% of all aviation emissions were caused by just 1% of the world’s population.

In 2022, the issue of private jets gained global attention after several celebrities were criticised for taking ultra-short trips in this mode of transport. “Given that 80% of the world’s population has never flown, but suffers the consequences of climate-damaging aviation emissions, and that the World Economic Forum claims to be committed to the 1.5°C climate target set in Paris, this annual private jet extravaganza is a master class in tasteless hypocrisy. Private jets must be relegated to the dustbin of history if we want a green, fair and safe future for all. World leaders must lead by example and ban private jets and unnecessary short-haul flights,” says Melita Steele, Greenpeace Africa’s programme director.

Read-also-AFRICA: Air pollution is the second highest risk factor for death 

The analysis published by Greenpeace International comes on the eve of the 53rd edition of the Davos Forum, which takes place from 16 to 20 January 2023, on the theme of “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”, with the participation of more than 2,700 personalities from 130 countries, including heads of state and government.

Boris Ngounou


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