The UK is Europe’s most serious private jet polluter, a study finds


The analysis found that the UK is Europe’s private jet capital, with more flights than anywhere else on the continent.

A private jet left the UK once every six minutes last year, putting the country ahead of Europe for the most polluting form of travel. Greenpeace has called many of these trips “polluting and pointless” since they are so short that they can be taken by train or cycled.

Analysis by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft also found that between 2021 and 2022, the number of private jet flights from the UK rose by 75% to 90,256 flights, emitting 500,000 tonnes of CO2 – more than any other European country.

The UK tops all league tables as the world’s busiest jet route, the most polluting route, and the most flights by private jet. There were 3,357 flights, six of the top 10 courses included London, and the most popular routes were flights between London and Paris.

A study by Transport and Environment found that private jets produce five to 14 times more pollution per passenger than commercial aircraft and 50 times more pollution than trains. Previous studies have shown that 50% of all aviation emissions are caused by 1% of the world’s population.

Increasing use of private jets. The study found that private jet traffic across Europe would increase from 350,000 flights in 2021 to more than 570,000 in 2022, significantly impacting emissions. Corresponding CO2 emissions have more than doubled over the same period to more than 3.3 million tonnes.

Researchers have found almost 40% of all European private jet flights are considered very short-haul, which means they cover fewer than 310 miles. Greenpeace advocates a ban on personal jet travel. (500 km) and could easily be a training trip.

The analysis also found some surprisingly inefficient routes. A flight between Blackbushes and Farnborough in Hampshire – just 4.6 miles (7.4 km) – topped the charts for the most carbon-intensive course in 2021 and 2022. As it takes less than 30 minutes to cycle between the two airports

Private jets are extremely polluting and generally pointless. Many of these trips could be covered faster by train and bicycle,” said Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK policy director.

” When a tiny minority burns jet fuel like there’s no tomorrow where millions worldwide face climate chaos, lose livelihoods or worse. If the government is serious about a just transition to net zero and low-carbon transport, it should put private jets on the chopping block first.”

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Private jets are the climate-destroying archives of the mega-wealthy. So – run by millionaires, for millionaires – allowing privileged private jet flyers to thrive at the expense of people and the planet, it’s no surprise that a Govt.

“If the government is not ready to ban private jets, at the very least, it should impose a super tax on private jet travel and use those revenues to finance the transition to a green economy.”

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Marta Lopez

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