This morning climate activists from three groups blocked the private jet terminal at Brussels Airport, denouncing the rich people flying privately.
Organised by Extinction Rebellion and Scientists Rebellion, the protest is part of the two groups’ “Make Them Pay” international campaign, which denounces and address outrageous levels of climate injustice. Implementing high taxes for frequent flyers and completely banning private flights are part of this campaign.
The super-rich jet-setters are responsible for the majority of the world’s pollution, but the resulting consequences – drought, rising food prices, unpredictable weather and rising levels of sea – are mainly felt by the poorest.Extinction Rebellion & Scientists Rebellion
On Monday morning, about 40 people chained themselves to the entrance to the terminal designated for private flights at Brussels Airport. They plastered messages on the terminal’s windows and displayed banners denouncing the rich’s use of private jets, while the rest of the people suffer from the effects of climate change.
“Private jets, a symbol of extreme wealth (at least 5,000 euros per flight hour), emit up to 20 times more carbon per passenger than commercial flights and are 50 times more polluting than trains”, the two organisations said in a statement. “The super-rich jet-setters are responsible for the majority of the world’s pollution, but the resulting consequences – drought, rising food prices, unpredictable weather and rising levels of sea - are mainly felt by the poorest.
Large numbers of police officers are present at Brussels Airport and watching over the evolution of the action, but, at the moment, are not intervening to break up the protest, according to Belga News Agency.
Extinction Rebellion is a UK-headquartered global environmental movement, with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss and the risk of social and ecological collapse. Its sister organisation, Scientists Rebellion, is an environmentalist group comprising international scientists with a similar goal.
“In the fall of 2022, the four main private jet companies in Belgium (Luxaviation, Flying Group, ASL Group and The Aviation Factory) reported a significant increase of around 50,000 additional passengers between 2021 and 2022”, the sister groups highlighted. “The Aviation Factory saw its turnover reach at least 45 million euros in 2022, compared to 23 million euros in 2019. If they were not placed under government infusion, the small airports which welcome private jet companies would lose money.”
In November, Extinction Rebellion, in collaboration with GreenPeace, organised a similar movement at Amsterdam Schiphol’s Airport. Protesters jumped over the airport’s fences and stood on the tarmac preventing private jets from taking off.