Can pets be as bad as jets? That’s what Patrick Hansen, boss of a luxury airline firm, claimed. As astonishing as it sounds, the chief executive of Luxaviation based in Luxembourg told the Financial Times that one of his company’s customers produces around 2.1 tonnes of CO2 yearly or about the same amount as three dogs. The estimates are based on carbon footprint consultant Mike Berners-Lee’s book, which states a labrador has an annual carbon footprint of around 770kg. The bigger the dog, the bigger the carbon footprint; Great Danes emit as much as 2,500kg of carbon dioxide annually.
Travel expert Hans Mast from Golden Rule Travel threw light on the matter, “Yes, pets do have a carbon footprint (but so do humans), mostly tied to the production of their food, but it’s crucial to consider that private jets emit CO2 at a significantly higher rate per passenger than commercial flights,’ he said. The CEO of RatePunk said, ‘It’s crucial to acknowledge that private jets are often associated with luxury and convenience, catering to a small segment of the population. The private jet industry, as a whole, is responsible for substantial carbon emissions due to the high fuel consumption and inefficient engines of these aircraft. Private jets are known to emit significantly more significant amounts of greenhouse gasses per passenger mile compared to commercial airlines.’
He added, “‘According to a study by Transport & Environment, private jets are five to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes (counting per passenger). While pets do contribute to environmental impact, their individual carbon footprint is relatively small in comparison.”
Private jets have been the villain in the spotlight for far too long. While there is no denying these flights can damage the environment, only criticism or tracking celebrity jets won’t do any good. Energy Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested the solution to private jet emissions in the short term is sustainable aviation fuel. Mr. Shapps said, ‘Private jets are almost in the headlines as much as motor homes. The reality is that to solve this problem; we need sustainable aviation fuel in the shorter term. And that’s why the U.K. has one of the world-leading targets of 10% of SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) in our energy mix for jets in just six-and-a-half years time.’
The only way one can truly lift a finger on pets is when they fly on private jets. In 2013, a millionaire splurged $100,000 to fly his precious pet cat in a private plane from Russia to the U.S. In 2021, a wealthy pet owner booked the entire business class of a 170-seater Airbus jet for his dog to travel in utmost comfort and privacy. It is excessive but still better than booking a private jet.