Greenpeace, a climate activism group, has gone public with intensely harsh criticism of the attendees of the World Economic Forum for making the trip out to Davos, Switzerland, by utilizing hundred of private jets.
The loud claims of “ecological hypocrisy” has taken place in the wake of a new analysis being released, which was commissioned by Greenpeace, which discovered that roughly 1,040 private jets made their way into and out of airports used by Davos, a tiny resort town nestled in the Swiss Alps, during the World Economic Forum conference from last year. The vast majority of these jets were carrying out small short-haul flights of less than 500 miles which “could have easily been train or car trips,” the most egregious of which was a plane that carried one the passengers a mere 13 miles in order to show up at the event.
“Europe is experiencing the warmest January days ever recorded and communities around the world are grappling with extreme weather events supercharged by the climate crisis,” explained one campaigner for Greenpeace, Klara Maria Schenk, in a release. “Meanwhile, the rich and powerful flock to Davos in ultra-polluting, socially inequitable private jets to discuss climate and inequality behind closed doors. Davos has a perfectly adequate railway station, still these people can’t even be bothered to take the train.”
Countries sporting the highest total number of arrivals and departures using the Davos airports included nearby countries such as Italy, Germany, and France, explained the unveiled analysis, which was carried out by Dutch environmental consulting firm CE Delft. The research found that the copious amount of private jet travel into Davos for last year’s World Economic Forum spewed out carbon emissions equivalent to those caused by 350,000 cars over a week. The private jet emissions linked to Davos quadrupled throughout the week of the meeting in comparison to the weeks preceding and the weeks after the event.
“Given that 80% of the world’s population has never even flown, but suffers from the consequences of climate-damaging aviation emissions,” Schenk went on, “this annual private jet bonanza is a distasteful masterclass in hypocrisy. Private jets must be consigned to history if we are to have a green, just and safe future for all. It’s about time our political leaders start to lead by example instead of producing hot air in secret meetings with big business.”
The theme of the confernce for this year is “Cooperation in a Fragmented World,” which involves “how we can tackle the numerous and interlinked challenges the world is facing and find solutions through public-private cooperation,” as stated in a press release from the group.