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Video: John Kerry defends elite climate activists’ use of private jets

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the U.S-Africa Business Forum Leaders Forum Session, “Game Plan: Shaping the Future of Fast-Growing Continent,” in Washington, D.C., on August 5, 2014. (U.S. State Department)
March 28, 2023

President Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry made headlines recently for his defense of wealthy global elites who use private jets in their efforts to battle “climate change.” Kerry is currently leading the United States’ effort to fight against “climate change.”

During an interview with Ben Adler, senior climate editor at Yahoo News, Kerry denied flying on private jets while he was working after Adler cited reports that he had recently switched to flying commercially.

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“No, I didn’t fly private while I was in this job,” Kerry said. “It’s just a misnomer. I’ve had one maybe two private flights which were U.S. military flights in order to get to China during COVID where we were forced into that. But I fly commercially.”

Adler then pressed the Biden climate czar on the hypocrisy of wealthy global elites using private jets to travel to places like Davos, Switzerland, to allegedly battle “climate change.”

“I’ve talked to them about it,” Kerry replied. “They offset — they buy offsets, they offset, and they are working harder than most people I know to be able to try to effect this transition.” 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate Portal defines carbon offsets as “tradable ‘rights’ or certificates linked to activities that lower the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.”

“By buying these certificates, a person or group can fund projects that fight climate change instead of taking actions to lower their own carbon emissions. In this way, the certificates’ offset’ the buyer’s CO2 emissions with an equal amount of CO2 reductions somewhere else,” the institute claims.

Kerry argues in the interview that people should be more “thoughtful” about the sheer impracticability of suddenly halting all aircraft that use fossil fuels.