Todd Smith, former airline pilot and now community member of Safe Landing, addressed an audience at the Corporate Jet Investor‘s conference on Park Lane in London last week. He spoke alongside Alethea Warrington from We Are Possible and Zack Polanski, deputy leader of the Green Party.
Safe Landing warned investors
Todd warned the conference of the dangers of investing in private jet aviation, not only to meeting our carbon reduction goals, but also to aviation workers. It is workers, he opined, who will be first to face the brunt of inevitable regulations on private jets if we blow our carbon budget and our climate breaks down.
“We have a very limited carbon budget left and aviation needs to be prioritised for the masses and essential transport.” – Todd Smith, former airline pilot.
A matter of fairness
Tackling the issues of private jets is fundamentally a matter of fairness. Private jets emit at least 10 times as much carbon dioxide per passenger than commercial jets. This is why we at Safe Landing are calling for a rapid reduction in private jet aviation and the introduction of a ‘Frequent Flyer Levy‘. This levy wouldn’t impact 77% of people in the United Kingdom. Read our position on private jets here.
“Apart from being an astronaut going up in a rocket, there is no way for one person’s action to create so much carbon so quickly” – Todd Smith, former airline pilot.
Industry net-zero claims are implausible
Industry spokespeople at the Corporate Jet Investor’s conference claimed that their business is both necessary and could be zero carbon within 5 years by using so-called sustainable aviation fuels. However, this is very clearly implausible and puts thousands of aviation jobs at risk. Furthermore, just this week it has been reported the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is approaching collapse, a critically dangerous climatic tipping point.
It is time to put aviation workers first
At Safe Landing, we say aviation workers should get to decide how their industry tackles the climate crisis. Corporate leaders have failed to scratch the surface of reducing emissions but also have far less stake in the future of the industry. We are advocating for what’s called ‘Workers’ Assemblies’ which put workers at the forefront of future decision making for the industry.
Coverage of the event
Sky News covered the event on their website and on their ‘Climate Show’:
and also on their ‘Climate Cast’ podcast: