Protestors have targeted private aviation at Luton Airport as part of a coordinated day of action around the world. A small group of Extinction Rebellion members blocked entrances to Harrods Aviation, holding signs saying ‘ban private jets’ and ‘tax frequent flyers’.
Similar protests were held elsewhere in the UK and at airports in Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Melbourne, a total of 13 different countries. Activists aimed to raise awareness of the high emissions of private planes ahead of the COP27 climate talks. All aviation has high emissions, but private planes have a vastly disporportionate impact. Taking a flight on a private plane is among the most damaging things an individual can do to the climate.
Luton Airport is the UK’s leading airport for corporate jets, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. Their report for 2020 record 11,929 aircraft movements in the business aviation category.
An XR spokesperson explained that “the campaign is targeting the climate destroying, jet-setting life-styles of billionaires and multi-millionaires which are exacerbating climate breakdown and condemning the global majority to a lifetime of poverty. Research has shown that just one per cent of the global population produces over half of total aviation emissions while 80% of the global population have never actually stepped foot onboard an aircraft.”