John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s appointed special presidential envoy for climate, took a private jet to Iceland when he received the Arctic Circle award for climate leadership.
Kerry defended this by saying it is his “only choice” as someone who travels the world “to win this battle,” as per Fox News.
With this instance surfacing, Arctic Circle Roundtable head Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson criticized Kerry for riding a private jet to the event, as per RUV.
The award, which looked like an iceberg sculpture, was given to Kerry as he was a “consistent voice” that put pressure on authorities in America to discuss issues regarding the environment.
Due to his choice of transportation, there are people who confronted Kery at the event. This included Icelandic reporter Johann Bjarni Kolbeinsson, who asked if flying via private jet is an “environmental way to travel.”
Kerry Defends His Choice of Transportation
To this, Kerry answered by saying that it was his only choice “If you offset your carbon.”
He then mentioned a positive thing he has done to help the environment. He mentioned his role in negotiating the Paris Accord on behalf of the country. This was signed during his time as secretary of state during the Obama administration.
He said that what he was doing “almost full time” is working to make sure the climate change fight is won. He added that if he dedicates his life to this work, he refuses to be “put on the defensive.”
A ride on a private jet emits an estimated 40 times more carbon per passenger compared to commercial flights.
Kerry did not reveal how he offsets his carbon output despite him claiming that he does. However, flight logs reveal that the private jet owned by his family spent more than 20 hours on air last year. Overall, it made around 116 metric tons of carbon emissions. To compare, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that a typical car makes 4.6 metric tons of CO2 in a year.
Biden’s Climate Plan
The news regarding Kerry’s carbon footprint comes as Democrats have started discussing proposals that would overhaul the country’s energy economy. This can potentially cause the costs for households and individuals to surge up.
President Biden’s new proposal that will tackle climate change costs around $1.7 trillion. This amount can still go up depending on the negotiations between Biden and Congress.
During his campaign, the president said he would utilize the Green New Deal as his climate plan’s backbone. However, he said it would need significantly less funding. Biden’s proposal wants to create an economy-wide transformation that many left-leaning Democrats support.