About 100 people gathered at Geneva Airport in Switzerland on November 16 to block private jet activity as part of an environmental demonstration, according to news reports. The group Extinction Rebellion, which “uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction,” organized the event that lasted more than two hours, according to the news site SWI Swissinfo, which added that the group dispersed at the request of the cantonal police.
Other reports quoted officials from the organization as saying, “It is very important for us to denounce this completely absurd and unjust means of transport, which is used by a tiny fraction of the population.”
The protest followed indications that came out earlier this month from the UK Labour party that it could support a ban on fossil-fuel powered private aircraft flights from 2025. Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary for the British Labour Party, released a statement asking, “Why is the government enabling billionaires to trash the climate when it’s the rest of us who will suffer the consequences?”
In response, business aviation organizations in Europe and the U.S. defended the business aviation community’s environmental efforts, saying the industry has made an aggressive push toward sustainable aviation fuels that can reduce carbon lifecycle emissions by 80 percent and that business aviation accounts for a minuscule portion of total transportation emissions.