Hundreds of Activists, Among Them 129 Scientists, Blockaded 11 International Private Airports to Demand a Ban on Private Jets. 31 Arrests All Around the World.
Global protests called for a ban on private jets and taxation of frequent flyers to fund climate adaptation and compensation for vulnerable countries.
Monday, 14th of November 2022 –Worldwide– Scientists and climate campaigners from Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion barricaded multiple private airports and protested against private jets in eleven countries during the past few days.
Private airports in Farnborough and London Luton (UK), Berlin (Germany), Milan (Italy), Stockholm (Sweden), Ibiza (Spain), Teterboro, New Jersey, Charlotte, North Carolina, Los Angeles, and Seattle (US) were blockaded on Thursday 10th.
Schiphol (Netherlands) was blockaded on Saturday, 5th of November, as part of a larger protest. Private airports in Melbourne (Australia), Trondheim (Norway), Cascais (Portugal), the world’s third largest jet manufacturer Dassault (Paris, France), and the Dutch Infrastructure Ministry were also targeted.
Nearly 200 people participated in the protests, 129 of them scientists from various disciplines. Disruption was caused by protesters using various tactics to blockade airport entrances, locking on with steel tubes and chains, glueing themselves to doors and windows, and setting off fire alarms. In other cases, campaigners used arts and music.
In Ibiza, they staged a theatre act to represent the contempt and arrogance of the richest while the less well-off struggle. 31 protestors were arrested and later released, while 58 were identified by the police.
These actions were part of the international Make Them Pay campaign. Campaigners called on world leaders now gathering at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN's 27th Annual Climate Change Conference (COP27) to ban private jets, which are approximately 10 times more energy-intensive per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more energy-intensive than trains. Campaigners also demanded a tax on those who fly frequently. Taxation would help cut emissions, pay for loss and damage, fund climate finance, and cancel the financial debt in countries most vulnerable to climate breakdown.
These demands incorporate a proposal made by the Least Developed Countries Group – representing the most climate-vulnerable countries at COP27 – and have been supported by multiple national Citizens’ Assemblies.
Climate scientist Dr. Peter Kalmus was among those arrested for participating in the North Carolina blockade. “Today I was arrested for the second time trying to increase public urgency about Earth breakdown,” said Dr. Kalmus. “We’re on the right side of history, but it feels like we’re losing badly. We need reinforcements. We need more scientists and more people engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. At this point you don’t need to be a scientist to know that until we end fossil fuels every summer will be hotter than the last and we risk losing essentially everything as a result. The general disregard in our society for this fundamental fact is stunning to me.”
Dr. Gianluca Grimalda, the social science researcher among those arrested in Milan, said: “To avoid climate catastrophe, societies must shift into emergency mode. This includes reducing the luxury emissions of a wealthy elite whose carbon footprint is orders of magnitude larger than that of the rest of us. It is unacceptable that the super-rich crisscross worldwide while millions suffer from disastrous climate impacts.”
Dr. Rose Abramoff, a climate change ecologist, also arrested, said: “During this critical period, every tonne of fossil fuels emitted damages our natural life support systems and pushes us closer to devastating tipping points. A critical first step to a safe energy transition is to ban private air travel, tax frequent flyers, and make wealthy people and nations pay their climate debt to Global South, Indigenous, and frontline communities."
Finlay Asher, an aerospace engineer, said: “Aviation represents the pinnacle of climate injustice and emissions inequality. Just 1% of the global population produces over half of total aviation emissions, while 80% of the global population has never actually stepped foot onboard an aircraft. I can’t stand by while the emissions from my industry continue to grow and contribute to the climate carnage wreaking havoc worldwide. The fact that private jet sales are booming shows that we're utterly failing on economic and climate justice.”
Scientist Rebellion is a growing climate activist group with 1000+ scientists and academics across 32 countries. Members range from science students and professors to IPCC contributors and leading climate-related scientists. Through disruptive nonviolent action, Scientist Rebellion demands emergency decarbonization via economic degrowth. During acts of civil resistance, members wear lab coats, and volunteers organize the vast majority of the campaign activity. The Climate Emergency Fund supports Scientist Rebellion's recruitment, training, capacity-building, and educational efforts.
For press inquiries, please contact: email@example.com
Mastadon | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube