The climate summit kicked off Monday in Scotland, with leaders from the countries signed on to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement in attendance.
Activists will also be at the 12-day conference, and while they will be urging others to eat less meat and cut down on air travel by flying commercial via routes already scheduled, the damage was already done as private jets from all over the world came arrived in droves at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports.
It’s estimated that around 400 private jets arrived for COP26, according to the Daily Mail , the VIP passengers of which include Prince Charles, Prince Albert of Monaco, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and our very own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
President Joe Biden and his team will reportedly generate an estimated 2.2 million pounds of carbon to reach the summit, thanks to four planes, the Marine One helicopter and his massive motorcade on the ground.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew in from Rome on his Airbus A321, but was stuck circling Glasgow for more than 20 minutes due to the number of jets arriving at the same time.
And leading the parade of private jets was Jeff Bezos’s $65-million Gulf Stream.
There was so much air traffic that some jets first dropped off VIPs at Glasgow Airport, then took off again to fly about 50 kilometres to nearby Prestwick due to a shortage of plane parking. Some also landed in Edinburgh, before presumably travelling by land.
Private jets are reportedly far more polluting than commercial planes, cars or trains, with the typical one blasting out two tonnes of carbon dioxide every hour, reported the Mail.
Some predict the fleet of aircraft arriving for the climate conference will expel 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in total.
Bezos and Bill Gates, who regularly lecture about the need to combat climate change, did nothing to reduce their carbon footprint leading up to COP26.
Both men were reportedly vacationing on superyachts off the coast of Turkey for Gates’ birthday, with each boat emitting more than 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which translates to about 19 tons each day.
At least Prince Charles’ jet used a sustainable fuel option.
“His Royal Highness has personally campaigned for a shift towards Sustainable Aviation Fuel and would only undertake travel to Rome when it was agreed that sustainable fuel would be used in the plane,” said a Clarence House spokesman, adding that it would also be used “wherever possible … from now on.”