Taylor Swift, Drake and the Kardashians Among Worst Polluters of Celebrity Private Jets, Research Finds

Members of the Kardashian and Drake family are reportedly among the top offenders when it comes to taking short, disproportionately polluting flights on private planes, according to a new analysis.

Kim Kardashian’s private plane has flown four flights of less than 20 minutes in the past two months, according to data from the celebrity flight tracker. @CelebJets. Her half-sister Kylie Jenner’s private plane did the double, found the tracker.

On one flight on July 24, Ms. Kardashian’s plane made a 40-mile, 10-minute trip between Van Nuys and Camarillo, California. The trip required 81 gallons of fuel and emitted 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2), about the same as a gasoline car emits when driven for six months.

Overall, the reality TV family dominated the CelebJets data set for short flights this summer. Kardashian and Jenner’s planes accounted for 12 of the 36 total flights of less than 20 minutes recorded between May 30 and July 24, 2022.

But they weren’t the only ones using private jets for short trips.

A customized Boeing 767 airliner owned by hip-hop star Drake, called “Air Drake,” made five short flights in the same period. While other celebrity jets made a greater number of flights, Drake’s plane reportedly returned the most planet-warming emissions of all in the data set due to its size.

The Boeing 767, normally used by airlines to carry a couple of hundred people on intercontinental flights, emitted 21 tons of CO2 over the five trips, according to the analysis. These are the emissions equivalent to the electricity use of four American homes for one year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Drake attempted to defend the short flights in a recent social media post by saying that a flight flagged by CelebJets, an 18-minute trip between Hamilton, Ontario and Toronto, was, in fact, empty.

“This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are in storage for anyone interested in logistics… no one takes that flight,” he wrote on Instagram.

Private jets purportedly belonging to other celebrities, including Steven Spielberg, Mark Wahlberg and boxer Floyd Mayweather, have also flown similarly short distances.

On July 17, Mayweather’s plane reportedly took two round-trip flights between Las Vegas-area airports, each taking 10 minutes or less. The route used 124 gallons of fuel for a round trip of just over 20 miles, CelebJets reported.

Separate analyzes identified A-listers who are even worse emitters with their private jets overall.

According to a separate analysis of CelebJets data by sustainability-focused data and technology agency Yard Group, when accounting for all flight lengths, pop star Taylor Swift was the biggest emitter this year.

It spent nearly 16 full days in the air this year, emitting 8,293.54 tons of CO2 and traveling an average of about 140 miles per flight, the research found.

“It’s easy to get lost in the dazzling lives of the rich and famous, but unfortunately, they are a significant part of the CO2e problem we have with the aviation industry,” Yard director of sustainability Chris Butterworth wrote.

“Aviation is responsible for 2.4% of man-made CO2e each year, and research shows a huge divide between the super-rich and the rest of us when it comes to flying, travel and even overall emissions.”

Taylor Swift’s representatives said the data doesn’t fully reflect her journey.

“Taylor’s jet is regularly loaned out to other people. Attributing most or all of these trips to him is blatantly incorrect,” a spokesman said. the independent.

the independent has contacted representatives for Ms Jenner, Ms Kardashian, Drake, Mr Spielberg, Mr Wahlberg and Mr Mayweather for comment.

The CelebJets account is run by Jack Sweeney, a student coder at the University of Central Florida. He has become famous for his skills in using publicly available aviation data to track the movements of Russian oligarchs and Elon Musk, who allegedly offered the 19-year-old $5,000 to stop publishing the whereabouts. of the.

The data is far from exhaustive of all private jet flights by high net worth individuals. Additionally, private planes sometimes fly without their owners for storage, repair, or logistics purposes.

“This is an example of what I would call climate dissonance,” wrote Emily Atkin of the climate newsletter, Heated,who analyzed CelebJets data.

“Although most people want to solve the ecological crisis caused by carbon, they are also dazzled by carbon-intensive behavior. That’s partly a symptom of a distorted ideal of the ‘American dream,’ one that tells us that abundant wealth, not well-being, is the ultimate marker of success.”

There has been a growing spotlight on the private jet habits of the super-rich since earlier this month when Kylie Jenner’s $72 million Bombardier DB 700 jet clocked a 17-minute flight between Van Nuys and Camarillo airports in the US. outside of Los Angeles. That flight emitted about a ton of CO2.

Jenner also took to social media to brag that she and her partner, rapper Travis Scott, had private planes. Some social media users reacted with disgust, labeling the reality star “full time climate criminal”.

The call “carbon elite” are responsible for massive and disproportionate carbon footprints, against a backdrop of worsening climate impacts.

Private jet flights generate between five and 14 times more emissions per passenger than a mostly full commercial airliner, according to an analysis of European flights over a distance of 310 miles (500 km). Private flights also create 50 times more than a train, according to a report by the NGO Transport & Environment.

The world’s richest 1 percent are responsible for half of the carbon emissions caused by flying.

“There are good reasons to see air travel in a new light,” wrote Stefan Gössling, a researcher at Sweden’s Lund University who studies transportation.

“It’s actually an elitist activity, rather than what the aviation industry would like us to believe: that everyone flies.”

The Biden administration has called on the aviation industry to cut 20 percent of its emissions by 2030, though it remains a voluntary goal.

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