Leonardo DiCaprio ditches the private jet and flies commercial into the COP26. Four years back the superstar was ridiculed for flying 8,000 miles in a private plane to collect an environmental award.

Via Facebook / @Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is making headlines yet again! The celebrity superstar was the latest to arrive at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, and it’s his preferred mode of travel that’s got everyone’s attention. Yes, that’s right! Ditching his beloved private jet, DiCaprio took a commercial flight to Scotland instead. His decision was inspired after he was called an eco-hypocrite for his use of VIP planes and thereby forced to glance at his heavy carbon footprint.

He made his way to the Scottish conference in a commercial plane, with police and bodyguards in tow. Wearing sunglasses and a smart suit with a matching mask, DiCaprio, who calls himself an ‘actor and environmentalist,’ was ushered by security through big crowds after arriving in Edinburgh via London before heading to Scotland’s largest city.

The actor who also attended COP25 in Madrid in 2019 will be speaking at various COP26 fringe events. He already appeared at a book launch hosted by environmentalists at The Engine Works venue in Glasgow’s Maryhill district and at the Kew Carbon Garden at the UN climate change conference.

Leonardo DiCaprio speaking on climate change at the UN in 2016.

When DiCaprio flew commercial to take an environmental award:
The acclaimed superstar, however, hasn’t been one to make wise choices always. In 2016, he was criticized massively for taking an outrageous 8000-mile trip in a private jet (from Cannes to New York City) to pick up an environmental award.

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Via Facebook / @Leonardo DiCaprio

Despite coaching viewers to “work together” to fight climate change while accepting his first Oscar in March, DiCaprio chose to fly private to pick up an award from a clean-water advocacy group at the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball and back to Cannes to attend an AIDS benefit gala 24 hours later. The irony of it all!

Around the time, the actor was also slammed for his carbon footprint, which according to clean energy analyst Robert Rapier tallied up relatively high. However, the former was quick to dismiss this by saying that he offsets his annual 11-ton carbon footprint by participating in an organization called Future Forests, which plants trees based on the number of carbon travelers emit into the atmosphere by taking planes, trains, and, luxury yachts.

Via Twitter / @MatthewPFirth

Private jets were still the favored choice at COP26:
While DiCaprio may have learned a lesson or two, several VIP guests, including Prince Albert of Monaco and a host of “green” CEOs, landed in private jets at COP26. While President Joe’s Bezos’ $65 million Gulf Stream jet led a 400-strong stream of private planes into Scottish environmental summit, several others too flew in private, causing an “an extraordinary traffic jam [which] forced empty planes to fly 30 miles to find space to park.”

Commenting on it, Matt Finch of the UK’s Transport and Environment campaign group said, “The average private jet, and we are not talking Air Force One, emits two tons of CO2 for every hour in flight. It can’t be stressed enough how bad private jets are for the environment; it is the worst way to travel by miles. Our research has found that most journeys could easily be completed on scheduled flights.”

“Private jets are very prestigious, but it is difficult to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change. To put it in context, the total carbon footprint of an ordinary citizen — including everywhere they travel and everything they consume — is around eight tons a year. So, an executive or politician taking one long haul private flight will burn more CO2 than several normal people do in a year,” he further added.

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It was estimated that more than 400 private aircraft would likely carry over 1,000 world leaders, business execs, and their staff to COP26. And as per reports, these jets will blast 13,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, which will generate more global warming gas than 1,600 Scots burn through in a year.

Well, climate change is real and here’s hoping head honchos across the world take note of it!

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A lawyer with a zeal for writing, Ekta has a deep love for linguistics, travel, and philosophy. Not an adrenalin junkie but likes going on occasional hikes to beat the weekday blues. Her bucket list includes escapades to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Morocco.