We need to be Swift about climate change

Over the past few months, Taylor Swift has been touring the globe on her coveted “The Eras Tour.” Hundreds of thousands of fans are flocking to the nearest stadium to catch her set, with her tour being expected to earn an estimated $2.2 billion just from domestic North American ticket sales. While fans are loving her performances, there is an environmental impact that is being overlooked.

In 2022, Yard shared findings on the negative carbon impact of celebrity private jets and listed the worst offenders — Swift was on the top of that list. During 2022, Swift took more than 170 flights and amassed 22,923 minutes of airtime, the equivalent of 15.9 days on board her jet. According to Yard, the carbon emissions from her jet came to around 8,293.54 tons of CO2e, resulting in nearly 1,200 times the carbon footprint of the average American. These numbers have remained high since the start of The Eras Tour. 

According to Insider, Swift owns two multimillion-dollar private jets — the first being a Dassault Falcon 7X, registered as N621MM with Island Jet Inc., and a Dassault Falcon 900, registered as N898TS with SATA LLC. Since the start of The Eras Tour in March, Swift has spent approximately 166 hours onboard; the equivalent of almost seven days flying. The current reported hours of flight time for her jets do not even account for the entire year, they start in March and run until now — just over three months until the end of the year. With the amount of airtime Swift is accruing, it would be no wonder if she doubles her flight emissions from last year. 

With criticism of her jet usage, a spokesperson for Swift told Insider “Before the tour kicked off in March of 2023, Taylor purchased more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel.” With that being said, what are carbon credits? 

Carbon credits are purchased to attempt to offset emissions released by a company or entity. So, according to Swift’s team, they purchased more than they would need to “offset all tour travel.” But with the sheer amount of emissions that would be released not just from her jet, but for trucks traveling to each venue and other related movements, it does not seem possible. 

According to The Washington Post, these carbon offsets are likely too good to be true. Experts have been releasing warnings on the efficiency of these carbon offset programs, and according to The Guardian, 90% of rainforest carbon offsets were meaningless. Previously, Delta pledged $1 billion to offset their global carbon emissions, which resulted in them purchasing $137 million worth of carbon offsets, though Delta’s chief sustainability officer now opposes their purchase. 

Private jet use is up to 14 times more polluting than normal commercial airliners are, and the rich are abusing them. Swift, Kylie Jenner, Jay Z and more abuse their ability to use these personal planes. Artists like Swift need to take accountability for their actions. As summer grows hotter every year due to global warming, they exacerbate the problem and brush past it or make excuses as to why they are allowed to. The general populous is always making sacrifices to decrease their carbon footprint: Is Taylor Swift too good to take a business-class flight? 

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