British prime minister Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary David Cameron and King Charles III thought it would be a good idea to travel to the UN climate summit COP28 in separate private jets.
Now they are being heavily criticized by climate activists, the opposition and many British citizens for being “climate hypocrites” and wasting taxpayers’ money.
The Indepedent reports that the King, the prime minister and the foreign secretary are not only using private jets to travel to the conference in Dubai, but separate jets as well.
The behavior is described as very strange and tone deaf – since the main focus of the conference is to reduce global emissions, while the wealthy elite’s many unnecessary flights by private plane have long been identified as a very big “climate villain”.
According to Rishi Sunak’s staff, there is nothing strange about arriving in Dubai in different planes, as the government is “not anti-flying” and supports the development of sustainable fuels.
But the defense is rejected by the opposition, who say the British government’s liberal use of private planes is an “awful example” and a “waste of taxpayers’ cash”.
They are also accused by Green Party leader Carla Denyer of representing a “super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet” and “produce more carbon than the average person emits all year” through this trip alone.
According to Todd Smith, spokesman for the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, Sunak and Cameron are primarily “protecting the interests of their rich mates”. He argues that it is not the British public who should change their flying habits for the sake of the climate – but the richest elite.
– It is only a small minority of private jet users, frequent flyers and first-class travellers that are ruining it for the rest of us.
Little Rishi #Sunak flies off in his private jet to #COP28 in Dubai to tell those pesky "ideological zealots" who want to save the planet what's what…and what a world leader the UK is. The irony is off the scale. The stench overwhelming. [Telegraph Saturday 2/12/23] pic.twitter.com/MGWaENr4cG
— Andy Davey (@DaveyCartoons) December 1, 2023
Ahead of the climate summit, Rishi Sunak claimed that his government is focused on “action to tackle climate change” and that protecting nature is a top priority.