Climate protest targets private jets at UK airport

Climate activists on Thursday gained access to a UK airport and sprayed private jets with orange paint a day after Stonehenge was attacked.

Environmental protest group Just Stop Oil claimed US pop star Taylor Swift’s private jet had landed at Stansted airport “mere hours earlier”.

Taylor Swift has attracted criticism over her use of private jets.

But Essex Police said her aircraft was not at the airport, northeast of London, at the time of the incident. Swift is currently on tour in the UK.

Police said they had arrested two women aged 22 and 28 on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with national infrastructure.

The pair, named by Just Stop Oil as Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22, used fire extinguishers filled with orange paint to spray two private jets, according to a statement.

It said they were demanding that Britain’s next government after the July 4 general election legally commits to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030.

In a post on X, Just Stop Oil added: “Jennifer and Cole cut the fence into the private airfield at Stansted where @taylorswift13’s jet is parked, demanding an emergency treaty to end fossil fuels by 2030.”

The accompanying video showed one of the activists cutting a hole in the fence before spraying the paint over the jets.

Taylor Swift has been condemned by environmentalists for using fuel-guzzling private jets.

In 2022, she headlined a list published by British sustainability marketing firm Yard of the “worst private jet CO2 emission offenders” among celebrities.

Her jet flew 170 times in 2022, with total flight emissions for the year reaching 8,293.54 tonnes, or 1,184.8 times more than the average person, Yard said.

The protest at Stansted came a day after activists sprayed an orange substance on Stonehenge, the prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest England.

Just Stop Oil said two activists had “decorated Stonehenge in orange powder paint” in a stunt that was roundly condemned by political leaders and heritage bodies.

Wiltshire Police arrested two people on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument. They were released on bail pending further enquiries, the force said on Thursday.