Do politicians consider carbon emissions when planning their journeys?
The UK government have a target for the UK to hit "net zero" by 2050. This doesn't mean that the UK will have no greenhouse gas emissions by that date, it simply means we will have reduced our emissions to the lowest level possible, and then offset the remainder through actions that capture carbon, for example through tree planting or capturing CO2 from the air.
Part of this process is to challenge UK businesses to reduce their emissions, and to force households to change their behaviour. It's well known that new cars will have to be hybrid or fully electric by 2030, less well-known that new build homes will not be able to have gas or oil boilers from 2025.
You would have thought then that the UK government would have therefore challenged themselves to reduce emissions, to lead from the front. But, if they have a plan, it's difficult to find. No wonder then that our Prime Minister made a much criticised visit to Dorset last week, returning by military helicopter, before flying back to Cornwall the next day.
The criticism didn't include any actual numbers, so here's a a few that we worked out. A Chinook burns around 1,500 litres of fuel per hour, with around 3kg of CO2e emissions per litre of jet fuel used. A trip from Lulworth Camp to London should take around 40 minutes and therefore use 1,000 litres of fuel, emitting 3 tonnes of CO2e. This is equivalent to driving around 6,700 miles in a luxury petrol vehicle, or driving from London to Shanghai.
Sometimes time is of the essence, our Prime Minister has a busy job, but transparency in emissions is the first step to making better decisions for our planet.