World Economic Forum to kick off in Davos, Switzerland with global elites likely to face flak over private jet

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With the World Economic Forum starting in Monday, business executives, celebrities, billionaires and government officials will likely be hit with the usual hypocrisy criticisms seen in years past.

The conference, which begins on Jan. 15 and concludes on Jan. 19, will take place at WEF’s headquarters in Davos, Switzerland.

In 2023, global elitists were slammed for their “ultra-polluting” jets as they discussed the climate crisis.

“Europe is experiencing the warmest January days ever recorded and communities around the world are grappling with extreme weather events supercharged by the climate crisis,” Klara Maria Schenk, a campaigner for environmental group Greenpeace International, said in a statement ahead of the conference. 

“Meanwhile, the rich and powerful flock to Davos in ultra-polluting, socially inequitable private jets to discuss climate and inequality behind closed doors,” she continued.

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Private jet

A general view of the Zurich Kloten Airport as participants arrive with private planes for the annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Zurich, Switzerland on January 17, 2023.  (Michele Crameri/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A logo of the World Economic Forum

A logo of the World Economic Forum WEF is pictured at the WEF headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 9, 2024. (Lian Yi/Xinhua via Getty Images)

According to WEF’s website, one topic the conference will cover is how world leaders can work towards a “carbon-neutral and nature-positive world by 2050 while providing affordable, secure and inclusive access to energy, food and water.”

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Private jet travel is by far the most carbon-intensive mode of transportation

They are about 10 times more carbon-intensive than commercial planes and 50 times more carbon-intensive than trains, according to a 2021 report from the group Transport & Environment.

Private jets

A view of the Zurich Kloten Airport upon the arrival of the private and VIP planes of the participants within the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting held in Davos, in Zurich, Switzerland on January 17, 2023.  (Michele Crameri/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Such studies have determined that between 1,000-1,500 private jets traveled to all the surrounding airports near Davos during past WEF summits. 

In 2019, WEF responded to criticism, acknowledging that attendees had taken about 500 jets to the summit that year, but said attendees were “taking the environmental impact of their travel more seriously.”

“We have been offering incentives to participants to use public transport for some years,” WEF said in a statement in January 2019. “We also ask that they share planes if they have to use them; something that has been gaining popularity in recent years.”

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WEF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.





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