If the United Nations is really concerned about global warming, it sure picked an odd place to hold its international climate talks: Europe’s busiest airport for private jets.
The Paris climate talks take place at Paris-Le Bourget, according to the U.N. It’s a 45-acre site that includes “32 negotiating rooms for fine-tuning the texts; a press centre where almost 3,000 journalists from around the world will be working.” Paris-Le Bourget also happens to be an airport that’s been called the “busiest private jet airport in Europe” by PrivateFly, a private jet booking service.
President Barack Obama and hundreds of other world leaders, celebrities and monied activists are attending the conference that’s expected to yield a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The U.N. has gone to great pains to claim the summit will be environmentally friendly, despite its estimated 300,000 ton carbon footprint.
“The 40,000 diplomats, politicians, activists, and journalists expected to attend the UN climate summit in Paris will be spending two weeks at an airport,” writes Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. “And not just any airport. Dedicated exclusively to private jets, Paris Le Bourget is the busiest private jet hub in Europe.”
“Equipped with more private terminals than anywhere else in the world, it caters to the ‘ultra high net worth traveler’ desiring an open-air terrace or a children’s play area,” writes Laframboise, who first reported the U.N. summit was taking place next to a private jet airport.
“Patrons who aren’t met by chauffeured limousines can drive away in Porsche rental cars,” Laframboise notes.
When you look at the list of speakers and celebrities expected to attend the climate summit, it’s easier to see why it’s located so close to a luxury airport that specifically caters to private jets. For example, former Vice President Al Gore is attending the conference as is environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer. Will they fly commercial?
As global warming attracts more celebrities, there’s been backlash against wealthy famous people who preach about reducing carbon dioxide emissions while riding around in private jets or private yachts.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined the so-called “People’s’ Climate March” in New York City last year, but was criticized for taking off to Brazil on a private plane to watch the 2014 World Cup. DiCaprio also rented out a 470-foot yacht boasting a gym, movie theater, two helipads and pools.
Singer Pharrell Williams has also become more active in the global warming debate, joining Gore in pushing for “climate action.” But even Pharrell has a huge carbon dioxide problem.
— Jerome Hudson (@JeromeEHudson) January 22, 2015
“How fascinating that private jets aren’t even hinted at within the pages of the incredibly-detailed conference site brochure that’s now being disseminated by the French government,” writes Laframboise. “And for some reason no one’s talking about the Paris Air Show, either ‚Äì which has been held on these grounds since 1953.”