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Rules for Thee Not for Me: MEPs Flew Over 82 Million Kilometers in 2021 by Robert Semonsen

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Rules for Thee Not for Me: MEPs Flew Over 82 Million Kilometers in 2021

In a classic case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’—while toiling away incessantly to impose so-called ‘climate friendly’ policies on working and middle-class Europeans—parliamentarians at the EU level left a mammoth ecological footprint themselves last year, flying a total 82 million kilometers and emitting nearly 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, collectively.

The information, which has shined a bright light on the abject hypocrisy of Europe’s political class, was revealed by figures provided by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the legislative body’s in-house research department and think tank, in response to a request from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) MEP Gunnar Beck, the German newspaper Junge Freiheit reports.

In addition to the flights to and from locations in Brussels, Strasbourg, and elsewhere—which emitted some 19,390 tons of carbon dioxide—the EPRS notes that MEPs drove more than 1 million kilometers in the official vehicles of the European parliament—an activity which, according to the newspaper’s calculations, released another 124 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the earth’s atmosphere. 

And while EU parliamentarians left an average carbon footprint of 27.7 tons last year, the average EU citizen’s carbon footprint, in recent years, has amounted to around seven tons annually, per the figures provided by the EPRS and Eurostat.

In light of the radical climate policies, it has sought—and continues to seek—to impose on the European population, AfD MEP Gunnar Beck has slammed the EU parliament’s travel policy as grossly “hypocritical.” 

“The EU authorities in Brussels demand strict subordination to climate madness from citizens and companies. Everything that could emit carbon dioxide should be avoided. You just don’t like to stick to it yourself,” Beck said, adding that the travel habits of the MEPs contradict their “own absurd climate policy.”

This is hardly the first time that accusations of climate hypocrisy have been leveled against EU officials. Last fall, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was lambasted after it was revealed that she took a private jet for a 50-kilometer trip days after she urged everyone to “do whatever it takes now to limit global warming” during an address at a climate summit in Glasgow.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.