During a talk between President Joe Biden and John Kerry, who is in charge of climate change policy, the use of private jets came up a lot.
Ben Adler, the senior climate editor at Yahoo News, brought up the subject in an interview that came out on Friday. He said that he had “recently switched” from flying personally with Kerry to flying commercially.
Kerry strongly denied the accusation, adding, “No, I did not fly privately while I was working here.” “That’s a bad name,” was all that was said.
Kerry said that, as the first special presidential envoy for climate change, he took “one or two private military flights” to fly to China during COVID. The Biden administration started when Kerry was named the first special presidential envoy on climate change.
He said, “I fly for a living,” and then added, “We had no choice.”
Fox headlines reported last month that the Kerry family sold its Gulfstream GIV-SP private aircraft to a New York-based hedge business. The plane had been in the headlines because it was used for long trips and was expected to release hundreds of metric tons of carbon dioxide since the start of the Biden administration.
Adler also asked Kerry to talk about the charge that people like the leaders of the G7 who go on private planes to important climate summits like Davos are being hypocritical.
He told those of his generation, “I’ve talked to them about it.” They try harder than most people I know to make this change happen, and they balance out their carbon footprint by buying offsets and decreasing their own emissions.
The Republican National Committee posted clips of the interview on Twitter, saying that Kerry’s words were a defense of “global elites” who use private aircraft to push for climate action.
The Climate Portal at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that a carbon offset is “a marketable “right” or certificate related to actions that lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.” (CO2). Instead of taking steps to minimize their own carbon emissions, consumers may contribute their money toward initiatives that actively fight climate change by buying these certificates. These certificates “offset” the CO2 emissions of the buyer by making sure that emissions of the same size are cut somewhere else.
Kerry also said that even though people are trying to make changes that are good for the environment, like using more of what the Energy Department calls “low-carbon sustainable aviation fuels,” they should be “thoughtful” about how hard it would be to get rid of all the planes in the world that use fossil fuels all at once.
Kerry ran for president for the Democratic Party in 2004 but lost to Bush. He was a senator and Obama’s secretary of state. For someone like myself, who is touring the world to win this war, offsetting your carbon is the only option. Kerry defended his decision to use a private plane to Iceland in 2019 to get an award for his work on climate change. Kerry helped make the Paris accord on climate change happen.