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COP 28: Event Set To Have Biggest Carbon Footprint In History

Interesting article here on last week’s COP28 and the carbon footprint created by the event. Sentinel Aviation is committed to defining a long term sustainable future for the private aviation sector. We’re partnered with Pelorus Foundation, supporting their Climate Investment Fund which funds grassroots projects that balance carbon emissions. Our contributions to this fund demonstrate just one of our actions and commitment towards a future of sustainable travel. When you fly with Sentinel Aviation, you have the opportunity to balance your carbon emissions through this fund.

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Aaron Bailey from Simple Flying – Reports

Could there have been a more carbon-conscious form of transport available? COP28, the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, will have the highest carbon footprint in history due to its many attendees.

Private jets have been spotted at Dubai International Airport during COP28, raising concerns about the conference’s environmental impact. Despite the focus on sustainability, world leaders attending COP28, including the British PM, have chosen to travel on private jets, although some claim to use sustainable aviation fuel.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will have history’s most significant carbon footprint. With almost 100,000 attendees, it surpassed the conference held in Egypt last year, with just 49,000 delegates. While Dubai is more commonly known as the hub for aviation giant Emirates, its home at Dubai International Airport (DXB) has also seen a flurry of private jets over COP28. It’s unclear if these are related directly to the conference, but it does raise a few eyebrows.

A quick search on Flightradar24 has spotted several private jets bound for the United Arab Emirates, including a Bombardier Global 7500 from Nigeria, an Embraer Legacy 650E from Switzerland, a Gulfstream IV from Japan, and a Dassault Falcon 7X from India.

Visitors to the conference saw some big names, with King Charles III, US Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron, British PM Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, all RSVP’d. However, it’s unlikely any of them will be traveling commercially.

The British PM’s mode of transport
There was widespread outrage when British PM Rishi Sunak noted he would be traveling to COP28 onboard his private jet, with King Charles III and Foreign Secretary David Cameron doing likewise. However, according to Rishi Sunak, his jet was powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), made from non-petroleum feedstocks.

Given that Dubai International Airport is one of the world’s most connected, we wonder why the world’s leaders couldn’t consider commercial carriers.

It’s understandable that for many of the world’s most powerful, traveling on a commercial airliner is simply unfeasible; with many heads of state, their entourage could fill an aircraft, not to mention their media delegation that could be in tow.

Looking back to COP27, held at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 315 journeys to the summit were taken by private jet, which was quite impressive for Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (SSH) on the shores of the Red Sea. Ironically, Etihad Airways, one of the flag airlines of the United Arab Emirates, flew its delegates to the conference with net zero emissions.

Given it’s a climate conference, you would expect that attendees should be making conscious choices for their form of travel (within reason), which has also led to organizers taking consideration as to the location of future conferences, which could then encourage other forms of transport.

It was hoped that a country in Eastern Europe would follow to host the climate conference, which could mean overland transport would be available for European delegates and encourage a lower carbon footprint. However, these plans are firmly on hold, given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian state has noted it will veto any vote for it to be hosted in the European Union. Should no decision be made, it will default back to Dubai for a second year.

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