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Are Celebrities Climate Criminals by Using Private Jets?

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It's no longer a secret that vehicles emit quite a lot of carbon footprint and it exacerbates climate conditions in the world. Private jets are the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles because they emit large amounts of emission gasses and are only operated with a few passengers individually. But despite the unfriendly use of private jets, it is very popular among celebrities.

The publication of the UK-based sustainable marketing agency, Yard[1], with their study called "Just Plane Wrong", issued in July 2022. The publication explains that there are some celebrities who record the most carbon emissions from private jet travel. Surprisingly, the first position was held by Taylor Swift as the most CO2e offender from her jet-set lifestyle. Then the second offender was Floyd Mayweather followed by Jay-Z, A-Rod, and Blake Shelton.

Here are the top 10 celebrity CO2e offenders:

List of 10 celebrities with the most carbon footprint. Taylor Swift topped the list, followed by Floyd Mayweather, Jay Z, A Rod, Blake Shelton, Steven Spielberg, Kim Kardashian, Mark Wahlberg, Oprah Winfrey and Travis Scott.
Top 10 celebrities with the most carbon footprint due to private jet use.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald[2]

Although indeed, the data provided by Yard does not say whether each trip is boarded by the celebrity, but the problem is, it turns out that celebrity-affiliated aircraft produce gas emissions on average more than 3,376 metric tons of CO2[3] (480 times more than an average person's annual emissions!).

The carbon footprints owned by these celebrities make many people feel unappreciated about the small ecological movements they are doing, because they are not worth the impact. Moreover, celebrities have significant power to influence the behavior of the wider community. Therefore, it is crucial for celebrities to help people realize the importance of reducing the number of carbon footprints and protecting the environment.


Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor and environmental campaigner, attended the 2021 COP26 Summit in Glasgow[4] on a commercial flight, leaving his private jet behind. This was highly appreciated by many people, especially environmentalists and his fans.

Leonardo DiCaprio being a speaker at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.
Leonardo DiCaprio being a speaker at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

Source: United Nations[5]

Understandably, these celebrities have special security interests, very busy schedules, and even more needs than ordinary people. However, it is very unfortunate if the privileges they have are negatively impacting the environment and can be avoided. One possible way to help reduce the carbon footprint of celebrities' private jets is by creating legislation that focuses on helping the development of emission-free vehicles.

Terry Tamminen, former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, said that "We can also work to make all air travel more sustainable. Strategies could include technical mandates in the creation of more efficient jet engines and the development and use of zero-emission aircraft such as methods to reduce flight mileage or idle engines at airports”.

Despite the many things that might help reduce the carbon footprint, the most important thing we can do now is to consistently minimize our carbon footprint as best as we can. Everything starts from ourselves, therefore, let's continue the small things we are working on together for a better world.


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