Pirvate jets at Palma airport. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Environmental groups are this week protesting against the impact of private jets on the climate and the environment in Mallorca.

Activists from Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future and Friends of the Earth took part in a protest yesterday at Palma airport to demand a ban on private jets and, to mark the carnival parade, they will do the same on Sunday 19 February at 5pm with a performance in the Plaza de España using a giant cardboard airplane.

These actions are part of the international campaign, Make Them Pay, promoted by Scientist Rebellion, Extinction Rebellion and Stay Grounded, which unites civil society and the scientific world around three demands: a ban on private jets, the application of the “polluter pays” principle and the imposition of taxes on frequent flyers.

In 2022, Palma airport handled 19,618 private jets, which is 3% more than in 2021, according to data from the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). It was the busiest private jet airport ahead of Ibiza and Madrid.

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“In a context where people have been asked to save energy wherever possible, the super-rich continue to indulge in excessive energy waste by flying private jets that propel us towards climate disaster. As the world faces a global energy crisis that threatens the livelihoods of millions and a growing climate crisis, it is time to end private jets as the most unequal and polluting mode of transport. A ban on private jets would be a strong signal of justice for European citizens in the context of the climate crisis,” said Francisco Javier Soto, spokesperson for Greenpeace.

According to environmental organisations, “there is an urgent need to send a strong message that we must all do our part, without exception”.
Private jets are the most polluting and most unequal form of transport on this planet: the percentage of frequent flyers (1% of the world’s population) accounts for more than half of the total emissions from commercial flights, while 80% of the world’s population has never travelled by plane.
Private jets emit an average of 1.3 kg of CO2 per person per kilometre, ten times more than a scheduled flight and up to 50 times more than an average train journey in Europe.
Some private jets, in fact, emit up to two tonnes of CO2 per hour.

Considering that the EU’s annual carbon footprint is 8.2 tonnes of CO2 per person, four hours on such aircraft is equivalent to the emissions of one person in one year in the EU.

“A European ban on private jets would not only prevent the privileged few from further aggravating the climate crisis we are all enduring, but also send a strong message of social justice to Europe’s citizens who are struggling with the current crisis,” added Pere Joan, spokesperson for Fridays for Future.

Environmental organisations point out that, according to data from the International Council on Clean Transportation, progressive taxation, including a frequent flyer levy, can generate revenue to decarbonise the aviation sector in an equitable way.