WEF participants face criticism for taking private jets to Davos

According to Greenpeace International, 1,040 private jets carried passengers attending the WEF Summit last year — emitting as much carbon as 350,000 average cars over a week. Of these flights, 38% flew shorter distances under 500 km, with the quickest flight at 21 km. 

WEF participants face criticism for taking private jets to Davos
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
Remove Ads

Celebrities, politicians and business executives remain unfazed by their use of private jets to reach Davos, Switzerland, amid concerns for the climate.

The 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) Summit runs from January 15 through January 19, where global elites are expected to debate the global response to ‘climate change.’

In 2023, WEF participants faced swift criticism for using "ultra-polluting" jets to reach the venue, reported Fox News.

As a more carbon-intensive mode of transport, private jets emit 10 times more carbon than commercial planes and 50 times more carbon than trains, reads a 2021 report from the group Transport & Environment.

"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," Klara Maria Schenk, a campaigner for environmental group Greenpeace International, wrote in a statement last year.

"Meanwhile, the rich and powerful flock to Davos in ultra-polluting, socially inequitable private jets to discuss climate and inequality behind closed doors," she added.

According to Greenpeace, 1,040 private jets carried passengers attending the WEF Summit last year — emitting as much carbon as 350,000 average cars over a week.

Of these flights, 53% traveled less than 750 km in place of train or car. Another 38% flew shorter distances under 500 km, with the quickest flight being a measly 21 km. 

The affected flight went from Friedrichshafen (D) to Altenrhein SG — a stone's throw across Lake Constance. The drive would have taken an hour by car.

"Private jets must be consigned to history to have a green, just and safe future for all. So-called world leaders must lead by example and ban private jets and useless short-haul flights," said Schenk.

Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft uncovered that air traffic for Davos doubled from the forum's annual meeting in 2022.

The forum has fielded criticism about the use of private jets since 2019, when roughly 500 jets landed at the summit that year. They claimed attendees were "taking the environmental impact of their travel more seriously," and have consistently lauded the importance of a "carbon-neutral and nature-positive world” by 2050.

 Schenk denounced the WEF for its “annual private jet bonanza,” calling it a “distasteful masterclass in hypocrisy."

In a bid to reduce emissions, the forum offered 50% discounts for its participation fee to those who travel by train. "We have been offering incentives to participants to use public transport for some years," they said.

"We also ask that they share planes if they have to use them; something that has been gaining popularity in recent years," added the WEF.

This is a developing story.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads