Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

The 77-year-old is aiming to claim victory in November’s US election, and has placed a major emphasis on the environment within his pledges ahead of the vote. Unlike his Republican rival Donald Trump, who is focusing more on the economy, Mr Biden has already told voters he will put in place the Green New Deal on his first day in office if he is elected. He and his vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have both demanded the US take action on the climate change crisis, with Ms Harris recently saying it was “an existential threat, and confronting it requires bold action”.

The Green New Deal, produced by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls on the federal government to ensure the US decreases the amount of fossil fuels used, while axing greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.

The pact, it is reported, will also hope to create high-paying jobs within the clean energy industry.

But this stance appears at odds with comments Mr Biden previously made surrounding the amount of air travel enjoyed while he was Vice President.

During a trip to Ireland in 2016, Mr Biden said: “Over the course of my life, I’ve been to a lot of places.

“I’ve travelled all around the world – more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone.”

Reports say that flying releases masses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as the jet fuel used in the machines emit greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases severely damage the environment as they stop heat from escaping from the planet’s atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise, causing devastation in areas such as Antarctica.

Other natural disasters affected by climate change include recent wildfires across the US West Coast, which have so claimed the lives of at least 30 people, and forced tens of thousands out of their homes.

Charity group, The Climate Coalition, said Mr Biden must choose different forms of transport if he becomes US President to make a good of his green values.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the organisation, told “Mr Biden has an opportunity to set an example through his campaign by opting for clean transport whenever possible, and if he wins the election perhaps he could be the first President to use ‘Rail Force One’.

“Though Mr Biden’s carbon footprint from his air travel is large, it pales in comparison to emissions from the US as a whole which is where our focus should be.

“Therefore we welcome Mr Biden’s plans for a green recovery that cuts the country’s carbon emissions.

“The devastating wildfires across the US’ West Coast show that the time is now for urgent, global action to protect the people and places we love from the worst impact of the climate crisis, especially ahead of the United Nations climate talks – COP26 – next year.”

The current wildfires are considered by experts as the worst to strike that region in around 18 years, and last week the smoke became so intense it reached Northern Europe.

In the coming days, scientists from the European Commission’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service claim, the smoke will again reach the north of Europe.

Mr Trump was widely criticised by environmentalists after he claimed the fires were the result of “poor forest management”, appearing to shift the focus away from climate change.

More recently, Mr Biden hit headlines in the UK after he said Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Government must respect the Good Friday Agreement, after plans to change aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement were discussed.

Mr Biden was referring to the alterations suggested by Mr Johnson to the agreement, which some say could cause major issues on the Northern Irish border.

It put into focus the UK’s wishes to create a trade deal with the US, which Mr Johnson hopes to secure once the UK agrees a pact with the EU.

Betting firm Betfair say that Mr Biden is a 5/6 bet to beat Mr Trump to become President, while the UK has a 40 percent (6/4) chance of getting a trade deal done with the US.

This was down on last week, when odds were placed at 2/5 for an agreement to be reached by 2021.


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