Enviromental cost of ‘Green’ David Cameron’s private jet flights
by Alun Palmer
AirportWatch appreciates the Conservative Party’s position of opposing new runways
at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. However, the Conservative Party still backs
expansion and growth at regional airports. While it is understandable that the
leader of a political party is a busy man, and has to make many journeys as part
of his job, the extent of his trips in private planes is disappointing.
Tory leader makes impassioned plea for us all to cut carbon emissions ..then
flies Glasgow to Gatwick creating 100 times pollution of doing journey by train
HE is proud of his green credentialsâ€¦ but Tory poser David Cameron travels thousands
of miles a year on private planes rather than eco-friendly trains.
The shameless millionaire Tory leader once even gave a talk on green issues in
the morning and took a private plane in the evening.
In the past six months he has flown 4,549 miles around the country and into Europe
at a cost of £40,000 – all paid for by backers.
Carbon emissions for his flights over the past six months total 45 tonnes – nearly
five times the yearly average for a Briton.
Yet Cameron has put green issues high on his agenda, saying last year: "We can’t
afford not to go green. We must wean our-selves off fossil fuels."
In 2006 he said: "My ambition is to lead a new green revolution."
As part of our investigation into the
REAL Tory leader we analysed his travel plans, beginning in May when he went to the
Scottish Tory Conference in Dundee.
Instead of a train back, Cameron got a lift in a plane provided by businessman
Later that month he flew to
Prague to meet some of his party’s right-wing allies in the European Parliament.
The 2,019 mile trip by private jet was laid on by Tory treasurer and friend Michael Spencer through his private investment company. In July, instead
of taking the train to a conference in Harrogate he used a helicopter provided by businessman Simon Oliphant-Hope.
The following week he started a series of visits to
Norwich to help bolster a by-election candidate.
Hedge fund manager Stanley Fink, who gave more than £1million to the party this
year, arranged the flight home.
A week later he flew back to
Norwich for a day’s campaigning before heading to his constituency home near
Oxford. Again Simon Oliphant-Hope provided a chopper – a donation worth £4,126.
Six days later it was
Manchester to Bournemouth then on to Norwich and back to Bournemouth.
The two-day trip covered 708 miles. Yorkshire steel magnate Andrew Cook picked up the tab.
In October Cameron gave an impassioned speech to the Sustainable Consumption
Institute conference in
He said: "This country emits an astonishing 800,000 tonnes of carbon a year through
leaving electrical appliances on standby."
Later that day he was canvassing in
Glasgow. And after a hard day’s door knocking he flew 438 miles back to Gatwick on a private
plane thanks to tycoon Lord Harris.
Carbon emissions for a train journey would have been 0.042 tonnes. The plane
was 100 times higher at 4.3362 tonnes.
Finally last month he flew back from a day’s canvassing in Rhyl. The £5,875 journey of 239 miles was paid for by JCB Research, owned by Sir Anthony
Our investigation comes as big rifts emerged among Tories over Cameron’s "pro
green" stance. David Davies said this week his leader’s tough targets on carbon would cripple
A spokesman for campaigning group Plane Stupid condemned Cameron’s use of private
He said: "No one needs domestic flights in the
UK and going by private jet is 10 times as bad for the planet as ordinary planes."
A Tory spokesman said last night: "David Cameron has never said people should not fly. These flights were all carbon offset."
his list of shamefully short flights in full..
Private plane courtesy Malcolm Scott of Kirknewton, West Lothian
Distance: 336 miles
Emissions: 3.3264 tonnes
Train: 0.04 tonnes
London to Harrogate Return helicopter
courtesy Eastern Atlantic Helicopters Ltd, Shoreham,
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Distance: 362 miles
Emissions: 3.5838 tonnes
Train: 0.02 tonnes
Norwich to Blackbushe Airport, Surrey. Plane courtesy Stanley Fink
Distance: 159 miles
Emissions: 1.5741 tonnes
Train: 0.02 tonnes
Oxford for three passengers
Helicopter courtesy Eastern Atlantic
Distance: 288 miles
Emissions: 2.8512 tonnes
Train: 0.04 tonnes
Manchester to Bournemouth (three passengers) Bournemouth to
Norwich (four passengers)
Norwich to Bournemouth (three passengers)
courtesy William Cook Holdings of Sheffield
Distance: 708 miles
Emissions: 7.0092 tonnes
Train: 0.071 tonnes.
Glasgow to Gatwick (five passengers)
courtesy Harris Ventures Limited
Distance: 438 miles
Emissions: 4.3362 tonnes
Train: 0.042 tonnes
Helicopter courtesy JCB Research
Distance: 239 miles
Emissions: 2.3661 tonnes
Train: 0.21 tonnes