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People Before Profit propose ban on private jets in Irish airspace

The proposed legislation is aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT has introduced a bill to the Dáil to ban private jets from flying in Irish airspace. 

The legislation would prohibit private jets from flying over Ireland, with certain exceptions for reasons such as medical evacuations and national security, in a bid to reduce the colossal greenhouse gas emissions produced by aviation.

The bill proposes that a person found guilty of breaking the ban would be subject on summary conviction to a class A fine or imprisonment for up to one year, or, on conviction on indictment, to a fine up to €150,000 or imprisonment up to five years, or both. 

Introducing the bill, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said that the climate crisis has been caused “by the economic imperatives of the capitalist system, by the lifestyles and desires of the 1% global elite population, and by the efforts of the fossil fuel industry”.

“We know that one of the reasons for our rising emission figures is aviation emissions. Aviation, however, like shipping is a kind of a twilight zone, where each nation tries to say, well, it’s not really our issue. But together, they are intimately connected with the climate crisis,” Smith said.

She said that “despite government policies, the planet and the climate do not care about carbon trading or inventive accounting”.

“The most shocking aspect of aviation is the growth and the footprint of private jets use. And here is an example of personal behaviours that must change ad where there are clear alternatives on commercial flights.

“6,600 private jets departed from Ireland in 2021 alone. There’s no excuse for their use – they’re a status symbol of the rich and a signal that the rich don’t care.

“This bill is part of a global move to challenge that and to highlight that it is the rich and their economic system that is destroying our planet.”

Scheduled conventional commercial flights would not be subject to the ban.

Additionally, exceptions would be made for medical evacuation flights, flights concerning national security, flights concerning a foreign sovereign state, private military jets and private jets belonging to the State and exclusively assigned to a public service, and flights concerning flight training schools.

The bill has been sent forward for further debate in the Dáil.

A report by the World Meteorological Organisation released yesterday has detailed that one of the next five years is highly likely to be the hottest of modern records. 

In 2015, countries from around the world committed to the Paris Agreement, a deal to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and not to allow it to surpass 2 degrees.

The world is currently around 1.1 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times and is already experiencing impacts of the climate crisis such as heatwaves, droughts and melting ice sheets. 

Global surface temperatures are expected to exceed 1.5 and 2 degrees unless “deep reductions” are made to emissions.

Already, the scale of recent changes to the climate are “unprecedented” over hundreds and thousands of years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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