Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed he was on a business class flight to New York despite criticizing the UN Security Council for its failure to act on climate change.
He said Ireland was “deeply frustrated” by the UN Security Council’s “mistakes” on climate change during his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York.
However, Mr. Martin confirmed that he and some of his staff were traveling in business class, while his spokesman was traveling in economy class.
“I work flat out, back to back, 24/7 in terms of work before boarding the plane and work after boarding a plane and straight to work when I get to the other side,” said Mr. Martin New York.
“I’m very clear about that.
“There are other ways we can compensate [carbon emissions].”
Mr. Martin is the only cabinet member of Fianna Fáil using business class flights.
A recent study by the International Council on Clean Transport found that premium seats can emit 2.6 to 4.3 times more CO2 per kilometer than an economy-class passenger, depending on the aircraft class.
The same research found that premium seats (business and first class) are responsible for almost a fifth (19 percent) of all emissions from the airline industry.
Mr Martin used his speech to the General Assembly to attack the UN, denounce the Security Council’s “inaction” and criticized the UN’s “lack of political will” to do its part on climate change impacts on peace.
He has previously defended his use of business class flights, saying he works a “full day” before boarding a plane.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I work a full day before boarding a plane. I work on the plane and I work when I get off the plane. full up. I should do that. That’s my commitment and that’s it,” he said this summer.
The government was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after it emerged Fianna Fáil ministers were flying economy, while Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin was traveling business class to attend the same conference in Dubai.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-flew-business-class-to-new-york-despite-hitting-out-at-un-security-council-for-failure-to-act-on-climate-change-42012820.html Taoiseach flew to New York in business class despite attacking the UN Security Council for “failing” to act on climate change