Don’t Take Your Private Jet to Lunch
The news just dropped that celebrities often take their private jets for trips as short as 14 minutes.
In those flights, each celebrity is emitting over 3,000 tons of CO2 over the course of a year. Digital marketing firm Yard dug into the public information from a bot that tracks these jets. It tweets about them on an account called Celebrity Jet Tracker.
Crucially, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the private jets of the rich and famous. It only tracks the ones that it thinks will be relevant to tweet about.
That means broad swaths of private jets aren’t accounted for here. And it’s likely that the real numbers are far worse.
Predictably, social media commentators responded with outrage.
Digging into the report, we can see why they’re mad.
A single private jet appears to emit as much CO2 as around 1,200 average Americans.
While the average person feels more and more helpless against climate change, it seems that many celebrities prioritize a quick trip to the next city.
Individual action is important, but it can only go so far.
That’s why the recent news out of Washington, D.C., has been so heartening to us.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia had been a key holdout on climate action for the past few years.
But last week, he agreed to support a bill that would set aside over $300 billion for climate initiatives.
It would also levy taxes on multinational corporations and other high earners who have avoided paying annual dues to Uncle Sam.
Also in the bill is a plan to make electric vehicles more affordable to the average person. And it will provide support for lower-income communities that are affected by rising temperatures.
It includes funding for climate-friendly projects as well, which will be a boon for companies in this sector.
In all, the news this week has been a mixed bag. But we’re glad to see progress made on the policy front.
These steps may be painful for the Taylor Swifts and Kylie Jenners of the world. But private jets running on fossil fuel aren’t going to be the travel method of the future.
As electric vehicle technology improves and becomes more affordable, the airline industry will continue to innovate. We’ve been seen progress in the aviation market with newer planes using biofuels.
And as the largest polluters see their tax advantages dry up, they’ll likely turn to greener methods.
We aren’t there yet. But we’re making our way toward the “for the good” future we’ve been talking about.
Now, on to the news…
Numbers to Know
Number of square miles destroyed by a wildfire in Northern California since Friday. Thousands of residents have evacuated, and at least four people have died from the fire. It’s already California’s largest wildfire so far this year, and the flames are only 10% contained, according to fire officials. (The Guardian)
Number of flights singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s private jet alone has made since January. That comes out to 8,293 metric tons of CO2 emissions – the most by any celebrity’s plane this year. (Yard)
Amount Apollo Global Management will invest in energy transition and decarbonization over the next five years. Apollo announced its sustainable investing platform on Monday in its 13th annual ESG report. (In case you don’t know, ESG stands for environmental, social and governance.) (GlobeNewswire)
What’s New in Sustainable Investing
Congress revives the $369 billion climate change bill
The new U.S. bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act, is Congress’ largest climate initiative ever. It aims to extend clean energy tax credits and cut U.S. emissions 40% by 2030. Another part of the bill provides $60 billion toward solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and more. The Senate could vote on the legislation as early as this week. (CarbonCredits.com)
Amazon releases its 2021 Sustainability Report
The e-commerce giant unveiled its “Climate Pledge” back in 2019. But on Monday, Amazon said its carbon emissions increased 18% last year due to a surge in online spending. In its annual report, the company outlined its plans to develop sustainable transportation, decarbonize the supply chain, and switch to 100% renewable energy by 2025. (CNBC)
Links We Like
“Does an investor’s mood influence their preference for sustainable investments? There are several reasons why emotions might affect where people put their money.” (Corporate Knights)
“We have billions of sports fans. And we’ve shown we can reach them with an environmental message and can make them fans of the environment as well.” (The Athletic)
“Marketing firms come up with cute spins for women leaders – branding them as ‘girl bosses’ or ‘mompreneurs.’ The truth is that women-led companies outperform their peers and are smart financial investments for both commercial and retail investors.” (Business Insider India)