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Jeff Bezos’s £48m Gulf Stream leads stampede of jet out of COP26

Jeff Bezos‘s £48million Gulf Stream led a stampede of private jets out of COP26 last night, as the billionaire Amazon founder flew 4,442miles back to Seattle. 

Joining the exodus of executive and government planes leaving the climate conference yesterday were the UAE and Bahrain royal families and delegations from Japan, India, Brazil, Israel, Russia and Australia.

Joe Biden‘s Air Force One forced six commercial flights to burn fuel as they circled Edinburgh for 30 minutes while waiting for it to leave.  

Around a dozen private flights were within the UK – mainly to London – while others went to popular haunts of the super-rich such as Cannes and Bern, the capital city of Switzerland.

MailOnline observed 41 private planes leave yesterday between 2pm and 11pm – the majority of them rental services making it hard to identify who was on board.   

Estimates suggest 400 have travelled to and from COP26 in total. The scenes have prompted claims of hypocrisy – particularly when most of the routes they are taking are already covered by commercial airlines.

Boris Johnson touched down in Stansted late last night after making the 400-mile flight from Glasgow in his Union flag-embossed Airbus A321.

The Prime Minister defended the decision, saying ‘time constraints’ ruled out taking the train. Flying between the two cities takes approximately an hour, versus four hours and a half using the direct rail route into Euston.

MailOnline observed 41 private jets leave in total yesterday between 2pm and 11pm – the majority of them rental services making it hard to identify who was on board

Amazon airways: Jeff Bezos' Gulfstream private jet - which reportedly cost him £48million - arrives at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow on Sunday

Amazon airways: Jeff Bezos’ Gulfstream private jet – which reportedly cost him £48million – arrives at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow on Sunday

Mr Bezos met Prince Charles this week to discuss climate change. He tweeted: 'The Prince of Wales has been involved in fighting climate change and protecting our beautiful world far longer than most. We had a chance to discuss these important issues on the eve of #COP26 ¿ looking for solutions to heal our world, and how the @BezosEarthFund can help'

Mr Bezos met Prince Charles this week to discuss climate change. He tweeted: ‘The Prince of Wales has been involved in fighting climate change and protecting our beautiful world far longer than most. We had a chance to discuss these important issues on the eve of #COP26 — looking for solutions to heal our world, and how the @BezosEarthFund can help’

Heads of state from across the globe made their exit after an intense start to the week in Glasgow, but left their negotiation teams behind yesterday to continue to thrash out the detail on how to save the world from the perils of climate change.

Mr Biden was pictured boarding Air Force One at Edinburgh airport. He waved goodbye to the UK after saying he couldn’t think of any two days when more progress has been achieved in dealing with climate.

At a press conference before leaving Glasgow, Mr Biden said it was important to step up the pace when it came to tackling global warming.

‘Glasgow must be the start of a decisive decade of action so that we can keep 1.5 in the region. We have to keep accelerating our progress,’ he said.

‘For our part, the United States is going to keep raising the ambition and delivering a goal that we are reducing US emissions by 50% from the 2005 level by 2030.

‘I can’t think of any two days more has been accomplished dealing with climate than these past two days.’

Mr Biden added that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a mistake in failing to appear at the Cop26 talks.

Scores of private jets were pictured arriving for COP26 earlier this week. Pictured is one at Prestwick Airport

Scores of private jets were pictured arriving for COP26 earlier this week. Pictured is one at Prestwick Airport

A Cessna 421C Golden Eagle lands at Prestwick Airport on Tuesday. Attendees have been accused of hypocrisy for using private jets on routes served by commercial aircraft

A Cessna 421C Golden Eagle lands at Prestwick Airport on Tuesday. Attendees have been accused of hypocrisy for using private jets on routes served by commercial aircraft 

Jeff Bezos is accused of being a climate hypocrite for lecturing COP26 about cutting emissions after flying in on his £48million private jet 

Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos has been accused of hypocrisy after telling world leaders that going to space made him realise ‘how thin the globe’s atmosphere is’ and ‘the private sector must also play its part to reduce carbon emissions’.

The billionaire has been criticised by Prince William among others for the amount of fossil fuel that space exploration consumes – and arrived at the UN climate change summit in his £48m private jet, fresh from celebrating Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ 66th birthday on a £2million-a-week superyacht off the coast of Turkey. 

Speaking yesterday, billionaire Mr Bezos, who earlier this year made a short journey to space in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard, pledged $2billion (£1.47 billion) for land restoration in Africa, paid as part of the Bezos Earth Fund.

He told delegates: ‘I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you see the world. But I was not prepared for how much that would be true. Looking back at earth from up there, the atmosphere seems so thin. The world so finite and so fragile. Now in this critical year, and what we all know is the decisive decade, we must all stand together to protect our world.’

Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, was among Mr Bezos’s critics today, calling him a ‘hypocrite’ and writing: ‘Amazon has a carbon footprint larger than most countries.’ 

US Republican Congress candidate Lavern Spicer said: ‘While you’re busy at home turning off lights and keeping your thermostat down, Jeff Bezos’s $65m Gulf Stream just lead a parade of 400 private jets into COP26. WE are the joke they’re LAUGHING at!’ 

Other commenters told the tycoon to ‘just pay your taxes’ and said the fact that he was giving a lecture on green issues after going into space was ‘an example of how the one per cent live differently to the rest of us’. 

Mr Bezos, who has not yet been since with the Duke of Cambridge at the gathering, had previously indicated the investment would be $1billion (£732million) at an event with William’s father the Prince of Wales on Monday.  

 

He said: ‘We showed up. By showing up, I think we had a profound impact on the way, I think, the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership.

‘I think it has been a mistake, quite frankly, with respect to China, not showing up.

‘They have the lost the ability to influence people around the world and here in Cop. The same way I would argue with Russia.’

Elsewhere at the conference yesterday, Boris Johnson said he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the prospects for a deal at crucial international talks in Glasgow to curb global warming.

The Prime Minister welcomed a series of announcements by the assembled leaders on deforestation and emissions.

But he stressed there was still a long way to go if they were to get an agreement that would keep alive the prospect set out in the Paris Agreement of restricting world temperature rises to 1.5C.

Ahead of the summit, Mr Johnson suggested that humanity was 5-1 down at half-time in the battle against climate change.

He said yesterday: ‘We’ve pulled back a goal, or perhaps even two, and I think we are going to be able to take this thing to extra-time, because there’s no doubt that some progress has been made.’

He added that while the ‘doomsday clock is still ticking’, they now had a bomb disposal team on site and ‘they’re starting to snip the wires – I hope some of the right wires’.

The Prime Minister welcomed commitments made by scores of leaders attending the summit to halt and reverse deforestation and to cut methane emissions.

In particular, he highlighted a pledge by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to slash his country’s carbon emissions by switching half its power grid to renewable sources.

He also acknowledged, however, that the issue of climate finance had yet to be resolved – despite a 10 billion dollar (£7.3 billion) commitment from Japan over five years.

Mr Johnson said the richer nations were still behind on a commitment first made at Paris in 2015 to transfer 100 billion dollars (£73 billion) a year to developing countries to support sustainable development and mitigate the inevitable effects of global warming.

‘What I’ve been asking for, as you know, is action on coal, cars, cash and trees, and after just a couple of days we can certainly begin to tick three of those boxes,’ the Prime Minister said.

Mr Johnson was returning to London after end of the two-day leaders’ event which opened the summit, but he made it clear he would continue to be engaged.

In a message to the remaining teams who will get down to the task of detailed negotiations, he said: ‘The eyes of the world are on you – the eyes of the British Government and all the other governments that care about this – and we have got your numbers.’

Joe Biden left Glasgow yesterday as he jetted home after just 48 hours at the Cop26 summit. Air Force One forced six commercial flights to burn fuel as they circled Edinburgh for 30 minutes while waiting for it to leave

Joe Biden left Glasgow yesterday as he jetted home after just 48 hours at the Cop26 summit. Air Force One forced six commercial flights to burn fuel as they circled Edinburgh for 30 minutes while waiting for it to leave

The US President was among those to depart on Tuesday evening, after saying he couldn't think of any two days when more progress has been achieved in dealing with climate

The US President was among those to depart on Tuesday evening, after saying he couldn’t think of any two days when more progress has been achieved in dealing with climate

Downing Street said the talks were beginning to gather ‘significant momentum’ but cautioned that there was still some difficult negotiations ahead.

‘What is vital is that we continue to use the entire two weeks of Cop to push forward to get success at all levels,’ the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

‘There will be some very difficult negotiations in the coming days. We are not complacent. This is not a done deal by any means.’

The scale of the differences were underlined by Mr Modi demanding that developed countries make one trillion US dollars in future climate finance ‘as soon as possible today’.

Mr Johnson said it was important not to get caught up in a mood of ‘exaggerated enthusiasm’ generated by a gathering like Cop26 and to guard against ‘false hope’.

However, US climate envoy John Kerry said he had never seen such urgency, commitment or energy in climate talks.

‘We’ve already achieved an enormous amount at Cop, in ambition, money, a whole bunch of new initiatives,’ he said.

‘Frankly, we’re a day and a half into this and I’ve seen more energy and more commitment and more urgency than I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been doing this since 1988.’ 

He flew into Glasgow on Sunday night after attending the G20 in Rome at the weekend and will fly back to London later this week

He flew into Glasgow on Sunday night after attending the G20 in Rome at the weekend and will fly back to London later this week


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