How Taylor Swift, Drake and celebs with their private jets affect the climate



An earlier version of this article described the carbon emissions of an aircraft owned by rapper Jay-Z, based on an analysis by British marketing agency Yard. Jay-Z’s representative said the plane is not owned by the artist. The article has been corrected. The article was also revised to clarify that The Post did not independently verify ownership of the aircraft. Yard’s analysis was based on the popular Twitter account that tracks the jet-settings of celebrities based on public information.

Famous celebrities are no strangers to being at the top of the rankings. But many big names have recently found themselves on a new list: “Celebrities with the worst CO2 emissions of private jets. “

The Flight data analysisThe report, which was posted online on Friday by UK-based sustainable marketing agency Yard, came on the heels of other celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Drake due to heavy public criticism after it was revealed that their private jets that emit emissions have logged flights as short as 17 1 minute and 14 minutes, respectively.

Use of data from a The famous Twitter account Which tracks celebrity jet movements based on public information, the report said celebrity jets emit an average of more than 3,376 metric tons of carbon dioxide — nearly 480 times the average person’s annual emissions. The report, which has not been peer-reviewed and includes a prominent disclaimer for its analysis, includes the names of a handful of celebrities, at least two of whom have publicly disputed the list, saying their flight data does not reflect theirs. actual use.

Select Taylor Swift plane report As the “largest notorious CO2 polluter of the year so far”, it has received 170 flights since January with emissions totaling more than 8,293 metric tons. A plane belonging to boxer Floyd Mayweather came in second, and emitted about 7,076 metric tons of carbon dioxide, with one recorded flight lasting just 10 minutes.

Jay-Z, who could not be reached for comment, came in third. After publication, Jay-Z’s attorney told The Washington Post that the rapper did not own the private jet in question; rolling rock mentioned The flight data used in the analysis is from an aircraft associated with Puma and is attributed to Jay-Z for its relationship to the brand.

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In a statement to The Post, a Swift spokesperson said: “Taylor’s plane is regularly loaned to other individuals. Attributing most or all of these flights to her is blatantly incorrect.” Mayweather representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

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While the analysis notes that its list is “not conclusive” and that “there is no way to determine whether these celebrities were on board all recorded flights,” the authors emphasized that the report’s purpose was to “highlight the adverse impact of private aircraft use” – a very important fact. For frequent flyers and for the public to learn about, according to several experts who were not involved in the flight data study. Many other people often rely on private jets, including politicians, government officials, athletes, businessmen, and the wealthy.

“A short jump with a private jet requires jumping into the air with a 10- to 20-ton jet and then flying it from point A to point B,” Peter DiCarlo, an associate professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University who studies atmospheric air pollution. “I know no one likes to be stuck in traffic, but you don’t launch your car into the air. … Taking a huge piece of metal and putting it in the sky would be a massive carbon footprint that isn’t really necessary, especially for these kinds of short distances.”

And while DeCarlo and other experts acknowledge that a blanket ban on private jet travel, which can meet basic transportation needs in certain situations, is not the answer, they encouraged people — especially celebrities with significant social influence — to consider their environmental impact. Options and the message they can send.

“There are valid statements that grounded private jets probably won’t do what we need to go in the right direction with respect to climate change, but it’s just really bad optics,” DiCarlo said. If people view celebrities as role models, “they want to emulate that behavior. Then, the private jet becomes a status symbol and something that people aspire to, and that is not what we need now in the context of climate.”

Environmental Cost Calculation

a Report published last year By Transport & Environment, a major European group campaigning for clean transportation, found that a single private jet can emit 2 metric tons of carbon dioxide in just an hour. To put that in context, the average person in the European Union produces about 8.2 tons of emissions over an entire year, according to the report.

But while these aircraft are often widely criticized for their environmental impact, it is important to consider their emissions relative to other forms of transportation, he said. Chris FieldDirector of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

Field said that compared to fuel-efficient commercial aircraft and climate-friendly cars, such as hybrid or electric cars, emissions per passenger mile are much higher for private jets, which typically carry fewer passengers and travel shorter distances. But he noted that the fuel economy of a private jet with a reasonable number of passengers is comparable to that of a single person driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck.

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“There is a certain level of environmental irresponsibility with one person flying an F-150, and you can certainly say the same about traveling on a business jet,” he added.

Environmental concerns about private jets largely stem from How did it become popular And how they are used, for example, making short trips or flying empty planes to more convenient airstrips Colin Murphy, deputy director of the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and Economics at the University of California, Davis. Not only do users of private jets travel a lot, “but they generally do so in a less efficient manner than if they were sitting in a coach seat on a 777 or any of the traditional commercial aircraft.”

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A quick flight on a private jet confirms the “least efficient parts of the aircraft’s duty cycle,” Murphy said, noting that a huge amount of fuel is burned during takeoff and ascent. “You have all the emissions from the taxis, the heating of the engines and the take-off and climbing and not a lot of cruises where you really go the distance.”

In response to criticism about flights lasting less than 20 minutes, rapper Drake Comment on Instagramhe writes, “Those are just ferrying planes to whatever airport they’re stowed at for anyone interested in logistics…nobody taking that flight.”

But Murphy said transporting planes without passengers is “another really problematic use” of private jets.

“What you do is you burn hundreds or thousands of gallons of jet fuel to save a car load of people or a few cars loaded with people for a few hours,” he said. “Is this really the trade-off we want to say is acceptable in a world where climate change is no longer a future crisis, but a crisis now?”

Comparison between private and commercial

In general, smaller aircraft have less fuel than larger aircraft, according to experts. “A fully loaded 737 has roughly the same emissions per passenger mile as an efficient vehicle like the Prius,” Murphy said.

DiCarlo said that while larger commercial aircraft require more fuel, they often carry more people, and all passengers on the flight share the overall fuel consumption of the flight. But keep in mind, Field said, that sitting in first or business class can often come with a higher carbon footprint compared to an economy seat.

Despite this, one of the main advantages of private flying is comfort.

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“We live in a society where the comfort type among the very wealthy trumps everything else, and we would all benefit from keeping the focus on fit in perspective,” Field said.

Experts have said getting rid of private jets is not the answer to our climate problem. DiCarlo said that while everyone’s emissions from private travel are significant, they are still not as important as what the much larger commercial airline industry produces.

Furthermore, there are situations where this type of air travel is necessary, such as for medical emergencies or the transportation of organ donations, Field says. “Sometimes it’s really important to get the right team to the right place at the right time, and that’s what business jets can do.”

Rather than banning private jets, experts said it might be more effective to explore regulations or policies geared toward reducing the amount of nonessential travel.

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“You can imagine the policy tools that would force them to avoid them, and you could imagine the economic leverages that would make them too expensive to be worth it or the kind of regulatory stuff that would make them such a hassle,” Field said. “I support everything that is effective to really reduce frivolous travel without eliminating travel that really makes a difference.”

Field said there may be no point in “demonizing business jets”. Instead, he said, people should take responsibility for their actions and factor the environmental impact of what they do into decision-making.


While electric aircraft prototypes are still being developed, private and commercial aviation should benefit from higher-quality carbon offsets and more sustainable alternatives to jet fuel made from biomass, algae or plants, Field said. Right now, most of these fuels are generally better than petroleum, but Murphy noted, “It’s not zero emissions.”

Field said that in addition to reducing flights, private jet users should consider changing the way they fly. He said long-haul flights carrying more passengers could help with overall efficiency, and flying direct rather than laying down for connections could make a difference.

Although finding a sustainable long-term solution to private and commercial air travel is just one piece of the puzzle, experts have encouraged publications to do their part.

“It would be really hard to imagine a world in which we are largely successful in limiting climate change to not much more than historical averages, while people are still flying in private jets fueled by petroleum at the current rate,” Murphy said.

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