Enviromental cost of ‘Green’ David Cameron’s private jet flights

4.12.2009   (Mirror)

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 credentials… 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
Malcolm Scott.

Later that month he flew to
Warsaw and
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
the economy.

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..

May 15

Dundee to

Private plane courtesy Malcolm Scott of Kirknewton, West Lothian

Distance: 336 miles

Emissions: 3.3264 tonnes

Train: 0.04 tonnes

July 2

London to Harrogate Return helicopter

courtesy Eastern Atlantic Helicopters Ltd, Shoreham,

West Sussex

Distance: 362 miles

Emissions:   3.5838 tonnes

Train: 0.02 tonnes

July 10

Norwich to Blackbushe Airport, Surrey. Plane courtesy Stanley Fink

Distance: 159 miles

Emissions: 1.5741 tonnes

Train: 0.02 tonnes

July 17

London to
Norwich then
Oxford for three passengers

Helicopter courtesy Eastern Atlantic


Distance: 288 miles

Emissions:   2.8512 tonnes

Train: 0.04 tonnes

July 23/24

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.

October 16

Glasgow to Gatwick (five passengers)

Private plane

courtesy Harris Ventures Limited

Distance: 438 miles

Emissions: 4.3362 tonnes

Train: 0.042 tonnes

November 6

Rhyl to

Helicopter courtesy JCB Research

Distance: 239 miles

Emissions: 2.3661 tonnes

Train: 0.21 tonnes