Celebrities who pollute the most with their private jets
While many households are worrying about their gas and electricity bills, an energy crisis is looming, and scientists warn about global warming, there's a tiny elite that continues to take their private jets on short trips without a care in the world. British marketing firm Yard counted the emissions of 40 celebrities' private jets and came up with some stunning results.
Yard got the flight information from a Twitter account that analyzes ADS-B Exchange flight tracking data and filters out the jets of famous people: Celebrity jets (@CelebJets). Taking into account the number of trips and average flight time by each jet since the beginning of 2022, Yard compiled a list of "the top greenhouse gas emitting celebrities based on their routine use of private jets."
The number 1 on the list is surprising, because Taylor Swift is outspoken about climate change. Her flight emissions for 2022 - so far - are nearly 8,300 tons, or "1,200 times more than the average person's annual emissions," Newsweek reports on the basis of Yard's data.
Yard claims that the singer has taken her private jet for 170 flights between January 1 and July 29. That's one flight for each day. She was 22,923 minutes, or 15.9 full days, in the air: "Quite a large amount considering that she is not currently touring," Yard states. The average flight time was 80 minutes, Newsweek adds, with the shortest flight being a 36-minute trip from Missouri to Nashville.
After the Yard report was released in late July, it rained criticism on Taylor Swift. In a public statement, her representative gave the following rebuttal to the press: "Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals. To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect."
Number 2 on the list of celebrities who pollute most with their private jets is Floyd Mayweather. The boxing champion emitted over 7,000 tons of CO2 in the first half of 2022 - only by flying his private jet.
The Guardian noted that in the period of June-July 2022, Mayweather made some incredibly short trips. An example is his flight from Henderson, Nevada to Las Vegas, Nevada. These two cities are 16 miles apart: a 16-minute drive. Instead, the boxer's plane took 10 minutes to fly from one place to the other and emitted 1 ton of CO2.
Rapper Jay-Z comes in third, taking 136 flights this year and producing just under 7,000 metric tons of carbon. The Guardian explains that the CO2 emissions of Jay-Z and other stars were calculated on the basis of flight time, fuel consumed, and plane type.
The data used by Yard doesn't specify who was in the planes. It's possible that some of Jay-Z's flights were actually taking his wife Beyoncé from one point to another. Beyoncé herself is not in Yard's top 10.
Former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, or A-Rod, emitted 5,300 tons of CO2 with his private jet in the first half of 2022. Keep in mind that the average U.S. citizen emits only 16 tons per year, which includes everything they do. (And Americans have the highest carbon footprint in the world, nature.org emphasizes.)
A-Rod likes his plane and he doesn't mind showing it to the public. Here we see a photo from his Instagram account on the day he attended Joe Biden's inauguration as U.S. president in 2021. His then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez performed at the ceremony.
Country star and Voice coach Blake Shelton likes to fly his plane, too. His private jet emitted almost 4,500 tons of CO2 in the first half of 2022.
Gwen Stefani, his fellow coach at 'The Voice' and his wife since 2021, is not on the list provided by Yard. It's possible that she shares Blake's jet and accounts for some of its flights.
Who would have thought that the director of - at least tangentially - environmentally conscious and technology-critical stories like 'Jurassic Park' and 'Artificial Intelligence' would be so careless with his private jet emissions?
Among his shortest flights was an 18-minute trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam in The Netherlands, Newsweek reports. And that's strange, cause the magazine quotes him as saying in 2018 that he is "terrified of global warming." He called it "a scientific reality... not a political trick. It's a true piece of real, measurable, quantifiable science."
Kim Kardashian isn't that vocal about global warming. She takes short flights, The Guardian calculates on the basis of Yard and Celebrity Jet's data. In the period of June and July, her jet went from San Diego, California to Camarillo, California, in 30 minutes. The flight generated 3 tons in CO2.
The family's decadent lifestyle is one of its selling points as social media and reality tv personalities. They don't mind posing with their private jets. Recently, as the Indian Express reported. Khloe Kardashian got backlash for sharing a picture of her daughter, True, posing inside a private jet. On this photo from 2010, we see her with her mom, Kris Jenner.
Mark Wahlberg is an incredibly rich guy. In fact, it will surprise you how much money he has made over the years with a variety of businesses. So it's not surprising that he flies private jets.
Still, the number of times he takes his jet is somewhat off-putting. How about this one, as reported by the Guardian: a flight from Las Vegas to Van Nuys, California. It took 40 minutes and cost 4 tons in CO2 emissions. According to The Guardian, that is "equal to the average annual global emissions of one person."
The talk show host and media entrepreneur is yet another celebrity who talks the talk about global warming but doesn't seem to walk the walk. According to Newsweek, "Winfrey has frequently shown her support for the environment by promoting climate change activists on her shows, as well as writing about nature and battling pollution on OprahDaily.com."
The magazine quotes her as saying: "The future of life as we know it is being determined by everything we're doing - and not doing. Now." So how about leaving that jet grounded a bit more, Oprah?
The rapper and father of Kylie Jenner's kids is tenth on the list provided by Yard. His private jet emitted a little over 3,000 tons of CO2 in the months from January through June 2022.
It's possible that some of Scott's flights were shared with the media personality. According to Yard, Jenner came in 19th place on the celebrity private jets' list and was not included among the final docket of ten celebrities.
The fact that Scott and Jenner share planes was confirmed by a recent post on Kylie Jenner's Instagram account. As a real member of the Kardashian clan, she showed off the two planes she and her boyfriend own and added the caption: "You wanna take mine or yours?"
Newsweek reported in early August that "in the last week, Jenner's plane, a 2019 Bombardier BD-700, has taken multiple flights which lasted less than 20 minutes." The reality TV star has received a lot of backlash on social media for her use of the jet.
Jenner did not just brag about using the jet, but she was also caught several times by the Celebrity Jet tracker, marking 17-, 12- and even a 3-minute flight for the star's plane. As The Guardian says, her 17-minute flight "would have taken Jenner about 40 minutes in a car, causing just a fraction of the emissions."
The Guardian notes that Canadian rapper Drake may not have made the top 10 of Yard but is also under public scrutiny after Celebrity Jet exposed his flying excesses. His jet flew from Hamilton, Ontario to Toronto, Ontario, spending 18 minutes in the air and emitting 5 tons of Co2. "That's more than an average person per year," the newspaper stressed.
Drake responded to the controversy by commenting below a news story of Real Toronto Newz’s Instagram account. He said the plane was empty during that particular flight. "This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics," he wrote. "Nobody takes that flight." But does that make it any better?
The visibility of these luxury flights has triggered a debate in social media and opinion pages about the role that celebrities should play in battling the climate crisis.
The Guardian states that private jets "emit more than 33m tonnes of greenhouse gases, more than the country of Denmark, and because they carry so few people they are five to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes, per passenger, and 50 times more polluting than trains."
The person behind the Celebrity Jets account, Jack Sweeney, also analyzes the private trips of Elon Musk. When The Guardian asked him whether the billionaire wasn't just as much an abuser of private flights as the others, he replied that Musk was different.
"With Elon he’s just trying to be as quick as possible and efficient for work," he said, "but someone like Kim Kardashian... is posting ‘Kim Air’ and flexing and all that."
So, for Sweeney, it's not so much the emissions but the bragging about the private jets that annoys him most.