Extinction Rebellion scientists and young climate campaigners barricaded Farnborough Airport today, to demand a total ban on all private jets and a tax on frequent flyers.
The protest is part of a global action by climate activists which will see multiple private airports across 13 countries blockaded this week, including today’s protests at Farnborough Airport and London Luton Airport’s Harrods Terminal. The protestors are calling on world leaders gathering this week at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN’s 27th annual climate change conference (COP27), to take action to end the use of private jets, which they say are five to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more polluting than trains.
Campaigners are also demanding a tax on those who fly frequently to cut emissions and help raise funds to pay for the loss and damage caused by climate breakdown.
Activists at Farnborough – Europe’s premier private jet facility – locked themselves to the iconic Whittle Gate.
While at London Luton, the luxurious Harrods Aviation terminal is the backdrop for the protest.
Climate campaigners are lighting coloured flares, chanting slogans and waving banners proclaiming ‘Ban Private Jets’, ‘Tax Frequent Flyers’ and ‘Make Them Pay’.
Farnborough Airport has denied the protesters have had a significant impact on its operations, however.
An airport spokesman said: “Farnborough Airport is aware that some people have gathered at the entrance to the airport. The airport remains fully operational and we are continually monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and welfare of everyone.”
The cross-continent, co-ordinated, non-violent action, which involves hundreds of activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Scientist Rebellion (SR), is part of a new international campaign dubbed ‘Make Them Pay’ and intends to target private airports in other countries across the globe.