Home/ News / World/  ‘Distasteful masterclass in hypocrisy’: Greenpeace slams WEF Davos attendees over use of private jets

Around 500 private flights were used by attendees of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2022 in and out of airports close to the upscale Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland. Greenpeace has alleged. The environmental advocacy organisation called the guests guilty of hypocrisy.

The WEF professes to be dedicated to the 1.5°C Paris Climate Target while 80% of the world's population has never even flown but still experiences the effects of climate-damaging aviation emissions, making this yearly private jet extravaganza a “distasteful masterclass in hypocrisy", said Klara Maria Schenk, transport campaigner for Greenpeace.

According to Greenpeace, its analysis compared flight data from airports close to Davos during the week of the WEF 2022 to the weeks before and after.

During the week of the WEF 2022, 1,040 private jet flights entered and exited airports servicing the ski town of Davos in Switzerland, with roughly every other trip being ascribed to the gathering, as per Greenpeace’s research. While most flights began in France, Germany and Italy, one journey was only 21 kilometres long. The emissions from the planes were comparable to 350,000 typical vehicles in a week, as per the report.

WEF 2023 planners have reaffirmed their commitment to making climate change a key topic and have also made measures to lessen the event's carbon footprint and encourage VIP attendees to use public transportation.

The forum has been offsetting its emissions annually since 2017 and has a sustainability policy that promotes recycling, the use of electric vehicles and the use of locally sourced, seasonally appropriate cuisine. A group of caterers and support personnel, along with policymakers, CEOs, researchers and media, travel to Davos for the WEF each year, drawing criticism for the event's emissions.

WEF 2023, dubbed as “Cooperation in a Fragmented World", is going to be held on January 16-20. The board of trustees include International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Canada Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

“The world today is at a critical inflection point. The sheer number of ongoing crises calls for bold collective action. The Annual Meeting will convene leaders from government, business, and civil society to address the state of the world and discuss priorities for the year ahead," says the official statement of the prestigious event. “It will provide a platform to engage in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and help find solutions through public-private cooperation."

(With agency inputs)

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Updated: 14 Jan 2023, 06:48 AM IST
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