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Top scientists blockade UK and international private airports to demand end to obscene private jet use

Global protest calls for ban on private jet flights and tax on frequent flyers to help fund climate loss and damage reparations

Link to Global images https://xrb.link/wz1WMk1U

This cross-continent, co-ordinated, non-violent action, which involves hundreds of activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Scientist Rebellion (SR),  is part of a bold new international campaign dubbed "Make Them Pay" and the campaign intends to target private airports in other countries across the globe.

Scientists and young climate campaigners will barricade multiple private airports across thirteen countries, including Farnborough Airport  and London Luton Airport’s Harrods Terminal, to demand a total ban on all private jets and a tax on frequent flyers.

The protestors are calling on world leaders gathering this week at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN's 27th annual climate change conference (COP27), to take action to end the use of private jets, which are 5 to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more polluting than trains. Campaigners are also demanding a tax on those who fly frequently to cut emissions and help raise funds to pay for the loss and damage caused by climate breakdown.

Activists at Farnborough - Europe’s premier private jet facility - are today (10th November) locked-on at the iconic Whittle Gate, whilst at London Luton, the luxurious Harrods Aviation terminal is the backdrop for the protest. Climate campaigners are lighting coloured flares, chanting slogans and waving banners proclaiming “Ban Private Jets”, “Tax Frequent Flyers” and “Make Them Pay”

The campaign is targeting the climate destroying, jet-setting life-styles of billionaires and multi-millionaires which are exacerbating climate breakdown and condemning the global majority to a lifetime of poverty.

Today’s international action is taking place as COP27 enters its fourth day  at Sharm El Sheikh – a day designated as both Science Day and the Youth and Future Generation Day.

The protests also seek to highlight a proposal made by the Least Developed Countries Group  - which represents the most climate-vulnerable countries at COP27 - for a global aviation tax to fund climate finance, address loss & damage, and adaptation in their countries. Multiple national Citizens’ Assemblies have shown that ordinary people support the “Make Them Pay” campaign demands.

Research has shown that just 1% of the global population produces over a half of total aviation emissions while 80% of the global population have never actually stepped foot onboard an aircraft.

Dr. Gianluca Grimalda, social science researcher, and a member of the Scientist Rebellion, said: “It is obscene that Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates can fly their private jets tax free, while global communities starve. It’s only fair that wealthy polluters pay the most into climate loss and damage funds to help the most vulnerable countries adapt.” 

Finlay Asher, an aviation worker said: “Aviation represents the pinnacle of climate injustice and emissions inequality, I can’t stand by watching the emissions from my industry continue to grow and contribute to the climate carnage wreaking havoc around the world, private jet sales are booming we're utterly failing on economic and climate justice”

Youth climate campaigner Hallie said: “The future of humanity and civilisation as we know it is at play at COP27. It’s Code Red for Humanity.” and youth activist Becca concluded “Private flights are costing us the Earth and are flying us headlong towards extinction.  Private jets must be banned. Climate Reparations Now.”

– ENDS –


Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
To learn more about XR’s three demands please visit the Global website at https://rebellion.global/about-us/ & in the UK visit https://extinctionrebellion.uk/the-truth/demands/

Scientist Rebellion
Scientist Rebellion are scientists and academics who believe we should expose the reality and severity of the climate and ecological emergency by engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. Unless those best placed to understand behave as if this is an emergency, we cannot expect the public to do so. Some believe that appearing “alarmist” is detrimental - but we are terrified by what we see, and believe it is both vital and right to express our fears openly.
To learn more visit: https://scientistrebellion.com

The Conference of the Parties official website https://www.cop27.eg/

MakeThem Pay Campaign
Campaign website: https://makethempay.info/

Least Developed Countries  - Aviation / Loss and Damage / Climate Adaptation
Vulnerable countries demand global tax to pay for climate-led loss and damage

Citizens Assemblies recommendations on private jets and frequent flyer taxes
Multiple national Citizens’ Assemblies have produced such recommendations for the aviation sector, including:

Aviation Inequality
The MASSIVE Inequality of Flying (Part 10: Sustainable Aviation)

Flying is the fastest way we can burn fossil fuels and produce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a highly unequal activity as only 2% to 4% of the global population flew internationally in 2018, and only 1% of world population emitted 50% of CO2 from commercial aviation. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science...

Private jets are even worse as they are 5 to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes (per passenger), and 50 times more polluting than trains (https://www.transportenvironment.org/...)
Moreover, 1% of the global population produces over a half of total aviation emissions while 80% of the global population have never actually stepped foot onboard an aircraft

The Polluter Elite





Video message by UN Secretary General at the WGII AR6 press conference

IPCC adaptation report ‘a damning indictment of failed global leadership on climate’


Scientist Rebellion on Climate Change, Inequality and Resistance.

There is universal scientific consensus that climate change is caused by GHG emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels in activities such as transport, heating, production. Historically, emissions have been marked by strong inequalities, both within and between countries. The US and Europe alone have produced about 50% of GHGs, even if the share of their world population is only 17% (Ritchie, 2019). Sub-Saharan African countries, with roughly the same amount of population, have produced only 4% of total emissions  (Chancel et al., 2022) but are most vulnerable to seeing their land becoming completely uninhabitable by 2070 (Xu et al., 2020). 

Moreover, wealthy people emit a much larger amount of GHGs than the average world citizen. The typical person in the top 1% of the global wealth emissions distribution emits hundreds of times more GHGs than the average person in the bottom half of the emission distribution (Chancel et al., 2022). 

XR and SR citizens and scientists say that stopping these outrageous disparities in emissions is not only a moral imperative. It is also the most efficient way to contain emissions and avoid the most nefarious consequences of the incoming eco-climate breakdown. Banning private jets and yachts and introducing taxes on luxury consumption are examples of essential measures that policy-makers at the COP27 should implement immediately.

XR and SR practice civil resistance against the current model of economic development, which is leading us to a “collective suicide”, as vividly stated by UN Secreterary General Antonio Guterres. XR and SR citizens and scientists are aware that their action will break the law and that they will be put under arrest for these actions. Nonetheless, they think that civil resistance is necessary for societies to switch toward emergency mode, albeit past the eleventh hour.


Armstrong McKay, David I., Arie Staal, Jesse F. Abrams, Ricarda Winkelmann, Boris Sakschewski, Sina Loriani, Ingo Fetzer, Sarah E. Cornell, Johan Rockström, and Timothy M. Lenton. "Exceeding 1.5° C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points." Science 377, no. 6611 (2022): eabn7950.

Barros, B., & Wilk, R. (2021). The outsized carbon footprints of the super-rich. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 17(1), 316-322.

Chancel, L. Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman (2022). World Inequality Report: . https://wir2022.wid.world/

IPCC, 2022: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, R. Slade, A. Al Khourdajie, R. van Diemen, D. McCollum, M. Pathak, S. Some, P. Vyas, R. Fradera, M. Belkacemi, A. Hasija, G. Lisboa, S. Luz, J. Malley, (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA. doi: 10.1017/9781009157926

Ritchie, H. (2019: Who has contributed most to global CO2 emissions?, Our World in data: https://ourworldindata.org/contributed-most-global-co2

Steffen, Will, Katherine Richardson, Johan Rockström, Sarah E. Cornell, Ingo Fetzer, Elena M. Bennett, Reinette Biggs et al. "Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet." science 347, no. 6223 (2015): 1259855.

Wallace-Wells, D. (2019). The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, Crown InternationalXu, C., Kohler, T. A., Lenton, T. M., Svenning, J. C., & Scheffer, M. (2020). Future of the human climate niche. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(21), 11350-11355.

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Press resources

Extinction Rebellion (AKA XR) is a non-violent direct action protest group with the goal of preventing further mass extinction and damage to the climate. The group has three main demands.

1. Tell the truth - Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Act Now - Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Go Beyond Politics - Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

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