As the world quite literally burns and floods, this has not stopped Hollywood celebrities from emitting significant carbon emissions from their private jets. Private jets are anywhere between 5-14 times more polluting than commercial aircraft (per passenger), which is why celebrities’ love for private air travel is an environmental nightmare. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Blake Shelton, and Kim Kardashian are also major contributors to CO2 emissions. According to Yard, Taylor Swift, produced the most CO2 this year by taking 170 flights since January, with an average flight time of 80 minutes. One of her shortest flights took 36 minutes and her total flight emissions were 8,293.54 tonnes, per the study.
In 2022 alone, Kim Kardashian’s jet transmitted 4268.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions over 57 flights which is 609.8 times more than the normal individual emanates in a year.
Furthermore, Yard’s analysis of flight data came on the heels of other celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Drake weathering intense public criticism after it was revealed that their emissions-spewing private jets logged trips as short as 17 minutes and 14 minutes, respectively. To give insight, that is over 482.37 times more than the regular person who averages just seven tonnes per year flying commercially. The “climate criminal”, Kylie Jenner has received a barrage of criticism for choosing to board a less than 20-minute ride on her private plane. But despite growing worries about the climate crisis, taking short trips on fancy airplanes seems to be a typical practice among the rich and famous. Her 17-minute trip is thought to have produced nearly a quarter of the average person’s annual global carbon footprint. In a car, Jenner would have completed the journey in roughly 40 minutes, generating only a fraction of pollutants. Is it Kylie Jenner or “Killer Jenner”?
In a single hour, a private jet can emit 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide, roughly how much an individual’s annual carbon footprint should be
Over the past six weeks, Drake’s personal Boeing 767 has taken a seven-minute flight, a 12-minute flight, and a 14-minute flight, all between Toronto and nearby Hamilton. The 14-minute trip burned through 426 gallons of fuel and caused four tonnes of carbon emissions, the same as the total annual carbon footprint of an average person, according to Celebrity Jets, an automated Twitter account that tracks the private flights of the rich and famous.
In 2022 alone, Kim Kardashian’s jet transmitted 4268.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions over 57 flights which is 609.8 times more than the normal individual emanates in a year. Kim’s typical flight time is 85.49 minutes, for an average excursion length of 99.78 miles with her most brief flight being merely 23 minutes inside California.
Drakes 14-minute trip burned through 426 gallons of fuel and caused four tonnes of carbon emissions, the same as the total annual carbon footprint of an average person
–Celebrity Jets, an automated Twitter account that tracks the private flights of the rich and famous
While the commoners are stuck flying in economy class with minimal leg room and uncomfortable hand rest, the wealthy are jetting off on vacations as if they’re hopping on an Uber. But they’re not the only ones bearing the cost of their luxury. This method of transport is an audacious sign of wealth, but also an ultimate symbol of climate change inequity. The Microsoft co-founder, and author of the book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”, Bill Gates owns no less than four business jets, which he calls his ‘guilty pleasures.’ While the rich jet across the globe, flying super-short distances, the rest of the world is switching to paper straws, going green and dying in floods and heatwaves exacerbated by the environmental emergency.
So how bad is this impact, really?
Private jets have a disproportionate impact on the environment. In a single hour, a private jet can emit 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s roughly how much an individual’s annual carbon footprint should be, and the wealthiest 1 percent of people emit double the combined climate pollution of the poorest 50 percent. According to Common Wealth, the average private jet flight emits ten times the amount of greenhouse gases as an equivalent economy class flight. It also emits 150 times more pollution than a high-speed train traveling the same distance. In 2019, one-tenth of all flights departing from France were with private jets, half of which traveled less than 500km. In fact, private jets are twice as likely to be used for very short trips (< 500 km) within Europe as compared to flights in commercial aviation. The environmental concerns about private jets largely stem from how common they’ve become and how they’re being used, for example, taking short trips or flying empty planes to more convenient airstrips, said Colin Murphy, deputy director of the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy at the University of California at Davis. Furthermore, the negligence of celebrities in their consistent use of private jets, is having severe implications on our planet.