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Irish Prime Minister Faces Backlash For Flying Business Class to UN General Assembly Despite Complaining About Inaction On Climate Change

Irish Prime Minister Faces Backlash For Flying Business Class to UN General Assembly Despite Complaining About Inaction On Climate Change

There Are Actually Three Different Way's You Can Leave an Aeroplane: Do You Know the Third?

The Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin is facing backlash for flying Business Class to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.

During his speech to the 193 member states of the UN, Martin complained that a “lack of political will” was preventing action from being taken to reverse the devastating effects of climate change.

“We convene here at a time of crisis,” Martin told his fellow heads of state. “When we see daily the devastating impacts of climate change, with those who bear no responsibility for its causes being most affected.”

At times, Martin said, he had been “deeply frustrated” by the Security Council’s “failure to act” on a number of issues including climate change.

But Martin has been ridiculed by some in the Irish press for his decision to fly Business Class to the event. The International Council on Clean Transporation (ICCT) estimates that Business Class passengers are responsible for between 2.6 to 4.3 times more carbon emissions than passengers sat in Economy Class.

“I’m working flat out, back to back, 24/7 in terms of working prior to getting on the plane and working after getting on a plane and getting straight to work when I get to the other side,” Martin told journalists in New York after he admitted to flying in Business Class.

“There’s other ways we can offset [carbon emissions],” Martin continued.

Last year, Business Class came under attack from the boss of low-cost European airline Wizz Air.

“A business passenger occupies a lot more space therefore the environmental footprint of your passenger is much greater,” Jozsef Varadi said in comments that took aim at legacy carriers that offer Business Class seats, even on short-haul flights.

Still, the Irish Taoiseach’s emissions for flying Business Class to New York would have been much lower than most world leaders. While Martin flew commercial to the United States, many countries sent huge delegations on private jets to the event.

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