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Greenpeace condemns rising number of private jet flights in Belgium

09:35 06/04/2023

Environmental group Greenpeace has condemned a steep rise in private jet flights in Belgium over the past year, saying that the figures are “in complete contradiction with all the scientific data relating to the climate”.

Last year, 10,618 flights were recorded as leaving from Belgium, 52% more than the previous year.

“These flights generated 41,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is as much as the average annual emissions of 278,310 cars,” Greenpeace Belgium said, citing data from a study commissioned by the NGO from Dutch consulting company CE Delft.

The most popular flights were between Brussels and London (647 flights), followed by Brussels to Paris (545 flights) and Brussels to Geneva (407 flights).

There were 204 domestic flights between Brussels and Antwerp - whose airports are just 40km apart. These short flights generally occur when an aircraft drops off a passenger in one city but then flies to the other airport to park.

The study found that 572,806 private jet flights were recorded across Europe over the past year, with the United Kingdom, Germany and France being the main culprits. More than half of those flights were covering distances of less than 750km.

Greenpeace Belgium spokeswomn Carine Thibaut said that a ban on private jets was the obvious step forward, saying that “only a minority of the ultra-rich” were benefiting from the luxury form of transport.

“The rest of the population, its vast majority, will never set foot in a private jet,” she said.

“But nevertheless they suffer from their greenhouse gas emissions, their toxic ultra-fine dust, [and] their noise pollution.”

“It is scandalous that the EU is giving the ultra-rich a free pass to continue polluting at the expense of the planet,” she added.

Written by Paul Millar