World leaders again accused of hypocrisy for taking jets to global climate change summit

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutterres said at this year's climate summit in Dubai that “humanity’s fate is hanging in the balance.”

Published: December 7, 2023 11:22pm

Green energy hypocrisy appeared to be on full display again at the annual United Nations global climate-change summit, as the private jets of world leaders landed in Dubai with hefty carbon footprints.

At this year's event, called COP28, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary David Cameron and King Charles III each took a separate private jet flights to the conference.

Among the sharpest critics was Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, whose letter-writing campaign asked why this year’s attendees couldn’t hold their conference via Zoom.

The amount of carbon dioxide – considered a major contributor to global warming – that the three British jets emitted appeared further underscored by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutterres saying at COP28 that “humanity’s fate is hanging in the balance.”

A private plane paasenger emits 10 to 20 times as much carbon pollution as a commercial airline passenger, according to Transport & Environment, a European clean-transport group.

Josh Hammer, Newsweek editor at large and host of “The Josh Hammer Show,” told Just The News that it’s a tendency for climate crusaders to feel themselves high above the people they want to impose rules upon.

"The galling hypocrisy can be rather easily explained by understanding that men such as Al Gore and [U.S. climate envoy] John Kerry simply do not think the rules apply to them. To the 'limousine liberal' mind, it is entirely consistent to preach to the plebeians one thing and to actually do something yourself entirely inconsistent with it,” Hammer said.

Even some prominent climate activists have started to become critics of the hypocrisy on display at the climate conferences. Swedish climate celebrity Greta Thunberg didn’t attend this year’s event, and she skipped out on last year’s as well.

“The COPs are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention, using many different kinds of greenwashing,” Thunberg said of COP27, last year's climate summit.

In the lead-up to COP27, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion held protests around private jets in Amsterdam.

In addition to private jets, climate activists have also been vandalizing yachts and golf courses used by the ultra wealthy, who are also some of the biggest funders of climate nonprofits.

Michael Bloomberg, through his Bloomberg Philanthropies, committed $1 billion so far to his Beyond Carbon campaign, which aims to “shut down every last U.S. coal plant” and “accelerate the energy transition.”

Yet, the former U.S. climate envoy prefers the comfort of his private jet over commercial air travel.

Bill Gates, who’s also funded a number of efforts at fighting climate change, defended his use of private jets, saying that he offsets his own high carbon emissions by paying for carbon dioxide emission removal efforts.

John Kerry, the current climate czar, was questioned earlier this year during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee about his use of private jets, and claimed it was “one of the most outrageously persistent lies” that he regularly flies in private jets.

Fox News reported that Kerry’s family owns a jet that was used a few dozen times over 18 months. It was sold shortly after Kerry testified at the subcommittee.

“This is the precise opposite of the 'lead by example' mindset, and it should revolt us,” Hammer said.

Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow with the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute and publisher of, argued in his 2009 book “Green Hell” that despite claims to the contrary, the main goal of environmentalists is control.

“It's all about telling us what they want to tell us what kind of car to drive, what kind of electricity to use, what kind of food to eat, what kind of clothes to wear, what you should invest in,” Milloy told Just The News.

The climate movement, Milloy said, uses extreme language, such as Biden claiming climate change presents a greater threat than nuclear war, because fear is needed to get people to accept the restrictive policies.

“It’s obviously lunacy,” Milloy said.

He compared it to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” In the story, the pigs on the farm convince the other animals to revolt, promising a better life than the humans were giving them.

“Which included a windmill, by the way,” Milloy pointed out.

In the end, the pigs end up living just like the humans and ruling over all the other animals on the farm.

“So you can envision a world where the elites like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore will still be flying and using fossil fuels and eating meat. And the rest of us are going to be screwed. We will have given up all our freedoms and standard of living for nothing, and the weather will be the same,” Milloy said.

However, such apparent hypocrisies may end up being the climate agenda’s undoing.

As rising energy costs show up on voters’ bills, voters may be less inclined to accept sacrifices demanded of them from people who won’t share in those sacrifices.

“I think the fact that these elites such as Kerry are so willfully blind to, or defiant of, the very strictures they seek to impose on others means there is real potential to expose for a mass audience the hollowness of the entire enterprise,” Hammer also said. “But that also requires those in the media to do their part to shine a spotlight on it.”

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