It turns out Leonardo di Caprio isn’t the only one taking private jets to pick up climate awards.
Biden global climate czar John Kerry flew by private plane in 2019 to accept an award for his climate work in Iceland, a decision he defended at the time as “the only choice for somebody like me,” as shown on a video posted Wednesday by FoxNews.com.
Mr. Kerry, who has been criticized for owning a climate-unfriendly Gulfstream jet, appeared in person in October 2019 to receive the Arctic Circle Prize for his “leadership in international climate cooperation” at the Arctic Circle Assembly held in Reykjavik.
He was confronted about the high-emissions ride by Icelandic reporter Johann Bjarni Kolbeinsson, who asked whether the former secretary of state’s private flight was “an environmental way to travel.”
A private jet produces up to 40 times more carbon-dioxide emissions per passenger than a commercial airplane, but Mr. Kerry offered no apologies for his transportation mode, touting his climate bona fides and saying his schedule gave him little choice.
“If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle,” he said. “I negotiated the Paris accords for the United States. I’ve been involved in this fight for years.”
This isn’t the first time a prominent climate-woke figure has been called out for hopping on a private jet in the name of global warming.
In May 2016, Mr. di Caprio was accused of hypocrisy for taking a private jet from the Cannes Film Festival in France to pick up an environmental award at the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball in New York City, then flying back to Cannes, a total trip of about 8,000 miles.
“Climate change is real,” Mr. di Caprio said three months earlier at the Academy Awards. “It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”
A source told the New York Post, which broke the story, that the star hitched a ride with friends who had already arranged the flights.
Mr. Kerry told the Icelandic reporter that “I’ve been involved in this fight for years. I negotiated with [Chinese] President Xi to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris.”
“I believe the time it takes me to get somewhere — I can’t sail across the ocean. I have to fly, to meet with people and get things done,” he said. “But what I’m doing, almost full-time, is working to win the battle of climate change, and in the end, if I offset and contribute my life to do this, I’m not going to be put on the defensive.”
Marc Morano, founder of the skeptical Climate Depot website, was unimpressed with Mr. Kerry‘s rationale.
“Despite Kerry‘s focus on keeping fossil fuels in the ground, he has proven unable to stop using fossil fuels lavishly—in the air,” said Mr. Morano, who released in September the film “Climate Hustle 2: Rise of the Climate Monarchy.”
Air travel is a tricky issue for high-profile climate activists, given the global warming movement’s criticism of emissions from private as well as commercial jets.
In 2019, Swedish teen Greta Thunberg spent two weeks sailing by yacht across the Atlantic to New York City to avoid air travel, although some members of her crew were later criticized for flying back to Europe. Their flights were reportedly offset.