UK climate change department takes over 3000 flights at a cost of over £1.3m

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has taken a whopping 3114 flights over the past two years

by Natalie Glanvill on 26 October 2012 09:39


The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has spent over £1.3 million on 3,114 domestic and international flights between 2010 and 2012, according to information obtained from a freedom of information request.

In 2010/2011, the DECC spent £658,422.52 and in 2011/2012, the department spent a further £683,287.20 on travel. The most expensive flight taken was in 2011/2012 from London to Tokyo at a whopping cost of £6,402.13. The second most expensive was a trip to Cape Town from London, £5,395 and the third most expensive flight was £5,156 from London to Santiago.

A current first class ticket to Tokyo from London with British Airways is £6,674.00.

The most expensive flight in 2010/2011 was from London to Cancun (£5,791.50) where it is thought that government officials attended the 'conference of the parties', otherwise known as the climate change conference where many activists also travelled to by plane.

According to the DECC website, the cost of minister’s overseas travel is also in terms of the cost for single flights. In February 2011, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Gregory Barker spent £8,487 of taxpayers money on a trip to Philadelphia to discuss the ‘Green Trade Mission’. In December 2011, former Secretary of State, Chris Huhne spent almost nine thousand pounds on a flight to Durban, South Africa for a ‘Council of Parties’ meeting.

Between the July 1st and September 30th 2011, the cost of overseas travel for three ministers was £20,348.00. Between Chris Huhne, Charles Hendry and Greg Barker, flights were taken to Brussels (Petersburg dialogue), Beijing (carbon leadership meeting), two trips to Poland (informal energy council), Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan (meeting with senior level government representatives), Johannesburg (conference on the parties), Washington (major economics forum) and Berlin (energy intensive industry policy). 

Over the course of three months in the first quarter of 2011, ministers spent over £16,000 on flights to Brussels (environment council), Budapest (informal meeting), Abu Dhabi (UAE visit), Germany, (meeting), Philadelphia (green trade mission), Brussels (informal energy council) and the Hague (meeting with minister for economic affairs).

The DECC was unable to comment at the time of publishing.

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