EU chiefs blasted over private jet trip to UN climate talks

Brits try to be more energy efficient

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel flew to last year’s UN climate talks in Egypt with a private jet, it has emerged. The news has sparked fury among critics who attacked the pair for “caviar environmentalism”. The data, which showed the pair of EU chief’s travel schedules, revealed that Michel travelled on commercial planes on just 18 of the 112 flights taken between the beginning of his term in 2019 and December 2022.

He even invited Von der Leyen onto one of his private jet flights to Egypt in 2022.

According to the NGO Transport & Environment, a private jet can emit two tons of planet-cooking CO2 per hour.

Commenting on the news, Italian MEP Marco Zanni said: “Caviar environmentalism. If they don’t believe it either, why should you?”

In a note sent to, Italian MEP Paolo Borchia blasted: “With yesterday’s vote, our country risks suffering a job massacre.

“But the game is not over and we trust that common sense will prevail again otherwise we will really find ourselves faced with an environmentalist schizophrenia detached from reality.

“It is absurd to exclude biofuels, technologically mature and available at acceptable prices, to the detriment of synthetic fuels: a prospective technology, currently offered at exorbitant prices and, more seriously, characterised by an irrational waste of water for their production.

“This confirms that the ecological transition is a business for the rich and spoiled.”

EU energy chiefs are pushing for green plans for the bloc to reach net zero emissions by 2035.

The move has seen Germany opposing parts of the plan in the past weeks over a ban on the sale of combustion-engined cars including those that use e-fuels.

Berlin and Brussels announced on Saturday that they have reached an agreement in their dispute over the future of cars with combustion engines, allowing the registration of new vehicles with such engines even after 2035 provided they use climate-neutral fuel only.

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Germany had demanded an exemption for cars that burn e-fuels, arguing that they are carbon neutral when produced using renewable energy and carbon captured from the air so they wouldn’t spew further climate-changing emissions into the atmosphere.

Critics say battery-electric technology is a better fit for passenger cars and precious synthetic fuels should be used only where no other option is feasible, such as in aviation.

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The environmental group Greenpeace criticised the agreement sharply.

Given Germany’s approval, EU energy ministers voted in favour of the Commission’s green package of proposals.

But the move sparked fury from Italy.

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