Boris Johnson flies by jet to the G7 summit in Cornwall in order to tell world leaders about 'tackling climate change'

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  • Boris Johnson has flown around 400 kilometres to Cornwall from London for the G7 summit, where he will discuss "tackling climate change" with world leaders.

  • The government's own figures suggest the trip produces more than five times as many greenhouse gases as traveling by train.

  • A planespotter saw an identical jet to one used by the Prime Minister making a test flight to Newquay Airport from London.

  • The UK is hosting the COP26 climate change summit later this year.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Boris Johnson flew to the G7 Summit in Cornwall by jet on Wednesday, creating greenhouse gas emissions over five times greater than the equivalent train journey, according to the government's own emission figures.

Robert Jenrick, a government minister, confirmed to the BBC's Today Programme on Wednesday morning that the Prime Minister would be flying to Cornwall on Wednesday, a distance of nearly 400 kilometres from London to Newquay in south-west England.

One of the policy priorities of the summit, whose presidency is held by the UK, is "tackling climate change and preserving the planet's biodiversity."

The summit's website adds: "We will protect the future of our planet by moving to net zero and providing financial support for developing countries to do the same."

But according to figures released by the UK government's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the 399 kilometre domestic trip by plane from Stansted airport to Newquay airport will produce 97.5kg of greenhouse gases per passenger. The equivalent journey by train, a 482 kilometre journey from Paddington station to Newquay station is 17.8kg of greenhouse gases per passenger.

The opposition Labour Party's Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Luke Pollard told Insider that the prime minister should have not taken the flight.

"The Prime Minister should not have flown to Cornwall when he could have taken the train," Pollard said.

"As a West Country MP, I know that the train line into the South West is slow. The rail line to Cornwall needs proper investment if we are to get more people out of their cars - or their planes - and onto lower carbon public transport. When we are in a climate and ecological emergency, the PM really should be leading by example."

The Prime Minister's spokesperson declined to comment on the Prime Minister's travel arrangements to the G7 summit citing security grounds.

Flight tracking records suggest Johnson's plane touched down in Newquay, Cornwall at around 3PM UK time on Wednesday and photos of the prime minister on the runway circulated among plane spotters online.

His arrival appears to have held up a flight of the White House press corps, which had already been delayed due to a cloud of cicadas in Washington.

On Tuesday, a planespotter at Newquay filmed a white Airbus A321 registered to Titan Airways making a "rehearsal run" at the airport before returning later that day to Stansted, a flight of around 45 minutes.

A separate A321 in "Global Britain" livery was spotted in March, which the government is leasing from Titan Airways. The livery features the Union Jack on the aircraft's tail and the words "United Kingdom" in gold on the fuselage.

Johnson flew in the same A321 for a journey to Teesside in April, during a by-election campaign in the area. The opposition Labour Party criticised Johnson's use of the government plane for campaigning purposes, calling for an investigation into an "apparent breach" of the Ministerial Code, which says ministers must not use government resources for party political purposes.

But a government official told the i paper: "The Prime Minister visited Teesside on official Government business, meeting workers to coincide with an increase in the national minimum wage. This was followed by a short political visit, as permitted by the Ministerial Code."

The A321 is the second plane to receive the livery following a £900,000 makeover of an RAF Voyager Airbus A330, carried out last year.

While he was Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson complained about the RAF jet, which was used for both government travel as well as in-air refuelling, asking: "Why does it have to be grey?"

He also said that "it's great, but it seems to be very difficult to get hold of". Johnson managed to get hold of the jet when he took a brief trip to Kabul, allowing him to avoid a vote on Heathrow's third runway, which he had pledged to oppose - going so far as to say he would lie down "in front of bulldozers" - but would not have been able to do so as a member of the government, which backed the runway.

Later this year, the UK will be hosting the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

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