Science

Arno, Musk… several Twitter accounts track private flights of billionaires

Louise Sall
06:13, August 14, 2022

While the government has urged the French to reduce their energy consumption, billionaires are increasing their private jet travel. Faced with this extremely polluting practice, several Twitter accounts have decided to identify and share these trips, each time pointing out the resulting CO2 emissions.

It has become a fashionable football-inspired effect with many fans following flights during the transfer window to see if a player is going to join their club or not. But now flying big bosses in private jets is under close scrutiny. Their travels are extensively covered on social media and are clearly criticized for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Bernard Arnault was especially hounded

The most famous of these stories is “I’m Flying with Bernard”, which detailed the arrivals and departures of Bernard Arnault on a map hour by hour. It is based on data released by air traffic control services. Behind this account is a 35-year-old Frenchman who wants to denounce “the use of planes as taxis.”

In France, private jets make up one in ten flights that take off or land.

The same goes for the US account Celebrity Jet, run by a 19-year-old student who primarily tracks Elon Musk’s movements. A rather obsessive approach, but which is explained by a sense of injustice. This is the opinion of Grégoire Carpentier, an aeronautical engineer specializing in the decarbonization of the sector.

“We have people who will emit an order of magnitude more CO2 than if they were flying on a commercial airline,” he explains to Europe 1. need to work hard. Now the question that needs to be asked is whether this man, who is the President of the Republic or the President of Total, justifies his flight because of the importance of the trip. We cannot solve the problem of climate or energy by retreating from moral issues,” he clarifies.

In France, private jets make up one in ten flights that take off or land, according to the non-governmental organization Transport and Environment. Half of these flights fly less than 500 kilometers.

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