Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UK environment czar looking at limiting holiday trips to save CO2. And Tony Blair's Private Jet

Okay for me but not for thee.
From Air Transport World:

The UK's so-called "environment czar" last week raised the possibility of rationing air travel, limiting UK citizens to just a few vacation trips abroad by air per year in order to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions.

Adair Turner, chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change that advises UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, made the proposal before Parliament's Environmental Audit Select Committee on Feb. 5. In remarks widely reported by UK media, Turner said, "We will have to constrain demand in an absolute sense with people not allowed to make as many journeys as they could in an unconstrained manner."

The proposal was strongly condemned by FlyingMatters, a UK-based coalition of airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and other aviation- and tourism-related groups. "One always suspects with these half-baked proposals that the people who put them forward really intend them to apply to ordinary people, many of whom have only recently gained access to air travel, rather than to themselves," the organization said in a statement.

Turner's remarks came as a report from the TaxPayers' Alliance revealed that the UK government spent £18.5 million ($26.9 million) on flights last year, a figure that does not include travel by the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence, according the Daily Mirror.

...But there is no doubt that the time to act is now.
It is now that timely action can avert disaster.
It is now that with foresight and will such action can be taken without disturbing the essence of our way of life, by adjusting behaviour not altering it entirely....

-Tony Blair, 14Sep04
Daily Mail 07Feb09:

Now Tony Blair finally has the private jet he's always wanted (even if it is rented)

Tony Blair may have been forced to scrap plans to buy a fleet of planes dubbed ‘Blair Force One’ when he was in No10, but it seems the would-be President of Europe is still determined to travel in style.

The former Prime Minister has taken to hiring top-of-the-range Gulfstream private jets to transport him and his entourage as he carries out his current portfolio of jobs, which include adviser to the Rwandan government and representative of the Quartet, the international organisation involved in negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine.

The American-made jet, a favourite toy of billionaires, has a top speed of over 500mph and can seat around 19 people in its luxurious 45ft cabin.

Tony Blair

International high flyer: Tony Blair on board his Gulfstream V privatejet

It was one of the models Mr Blair’s Government considered buying in 2005 for ministerial use, before public outrage at the £80million cost saw the project being rejected by Parliament.

Since leaving office Mr Blair has used a number of Gulfstream planes, including a South African-registered Gulfstream V jet based at Luton Airport.

In November last year he is believed to have hired a Gulfstream IV owned by British-based banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild for a three-day return trip to Rwanda at an estimated cost of £83,000, including fuel....MORE