Skip to content
Clément Beaune wants “regulation”, Julien Bayou calls for “banning them”
 |  Today Headlines

Clément Beaune wants “regulation”, Julien Bayou calls for “banning them”

In the middle of summer marked by the cascading consequences of climate change, the online tracing of billionaires’ private jets has been a source of controversy for several weeks about the carbon footprint of the wealthiest. To the point that the subject is now making a place for itself in the political debate. Clément Beaune, delegate minister in charge of transport, said he was in favor of a “regulation” private jet flights from the Parisian Saturday August 20.

“There are urgent reasons, economic imperatives, but it cannot be a mode of individual travel for comfort, while the general mobilization initiated by the president requires everyone to make an effort”, estimated the minister, judging that these flights were becoming ” the symbol of a two-speed effort”.

According the Parisian, the minister would consider incentives, even taxation. Clément Beaune’s entourage then clarified to France Télévisions that it was not, however, a question of banning private jet flights, « business aviation [étant] an important economic activity in France”, but rather of “defining rules at European level”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Private jets of billionaires: “Our house is burning, and some are watching it comfortably from their window”

The secretary general of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), Julien Bayou, “rejoiced” on Franceinfo that the subject emerges in the political debate but called for much firmer measures. “A jet pollutes ten times more than an airplane. It is therefore time to banish them, because they literally poison us”, denounced Julien Bayou, castigating “whimsical movements”.

For him, taxation would be insufficient. “If we put a tax, for example of 15,000 euros, it would not even be pocket money for these people”, estimated the secretary general of EELV, citing data from NGOs according to which the average fortune of private jet users is 1.3 billion euros.

Carbon footprint 5 to 14 times greater than commercial flights

Several Twitter accounts have helped to highlight this issue, foremost among them the @ElonJet accountwhich echoes on Twitter all the movements of the plane belonging to tech mogul Elon Musk.

Its founder, the young American developer Jack Sweeney, has created many similar accounts allowing, among other things, to follow the movements from Meta boss Mark Zuckerbergof the Russian stateand a set billionaires and of celebrities.

Read also: Private jets of celebrities: behind the denunciation of pollution, the growing success of “flight tracking”

Other Internet users have launched their own accounts, such as @iflybernard (60,000 followers on Twitter) and @laviondebernard (75,000 followers on Instagram and 31,000 on Twitter). Established on the same idea – listing the carbon footprint of each trip of the private jet of Bernard Arnault, first fortune of France and third richest man on the planet –, they follow other planes belonging to large companies and French billionaires, from the Decaux group to Total, including those of Vincent Bolloré, François-Henri Pinault and Martin Bouygues.

The aviation sector is responsible for 2 to 3% of global CO emissions2 but, according to a Transport & Environment report published in May, private flights have a carbon footprint per passenger five to fourteen times greater than commercial flights and fifty times greater than rail. Private aviation has been booming since the pandemic as customers seek to avoid flight cancellations and promiscuity in the face of the virus.