Disney is marketing an elite $110,000-per-ticket tour package that includes a carbon price tag of 6.2 tonnes of emissions for each guest – 20 times more than a person in a low-income country represents in one whole year.
The 24-day “bucket list” adventure, limited to 75 guests, includes 12 Disney resorts in six countries on three continents. Guests will travel aboard a Boeing 757 “in VIP configuration”, accompanied by Disney staff “who [will] provide fun, factual stories that immerse you in every place you visit.”
Passengers board from Los Angeles, California on July 9, 2023. From there they will fly to San Francisco, then to Tokyo via Anchorage, to Shanghai and Hong Kong, then Agra in India, Cairo, Paris, then finish in Orlando, Florida. The visit is already complete.
An analysis by clean transportation group Transport & Environment (T&E) found that the jet fuel burned to power the plane for the total 19,600 mile (31,500 km) journey would emit a total of 462 tonnes of carbon dioxide – or 6 .2 tons for each paying person. guest, which is more than most people in the world make up in an entire year.
In 2019, average annual CO2 per capita emissions in a low-income country were 0.3 tonnes, according to data collected by the World Bank. Globally, the average annual carbon footprint was 4.5 tonnes per capita. If the world is to meet the goal of staying within 1.5°C of global warming, each person on Earth would need to emit on average just 2.3 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.
Jo Dardenne, director of aviation at T&E, said: “This Disney tour shows once again that there is no mode of transport more unfair than air travel. Only a privileged few can fly, exploding their annual carbon footprint with just one such vacation.
“And while the price may seem exorbitant, it doesn’t even adequately reflect the true cost of pollution.”
A Disney spokesperson said the company had a “long commitment to protecting the planet and providing a positive environmental legacy for future generations.”
Disney would monitor the tour’s emissions and balance them with “investments in high-quality, certified natural climate solutions” that “result in verified emissions reductions.”
“Our investments in these projects also prioritize the provision of co-benefits such as wildlife habitat conservation, job creation, protection of water resources, and reduced impacts from flooding and soil erosion,” the spokesperson said.
Climate campaigners have pointed out that the tour, which costs $109,995 (£91,000) per ticket, highlights research showing how, globally, the wealthiest individuals are disproportionately responsible for the lion’s share of carbon emissions.
Frequently flying ‘super-emitters’, who make up just 1% of the world’s population, were responsible for half of the aviation industry’s carbon emissions in 2018, a study has found. North Americans flew 50 times farther than Africans, and 10 times farther than people in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the 2020 study.
Another study published the same year found that the global north was responsible for 92% of excess emissions, while countries in the south only accounted for 8%. A third study shows the gap continues to widen, with the world’s richest 10% of households responsible for nearly half of emissions in 2015, up from 34% five years earlier. The poorest half of the world’s population accounted for 15% of the CO2 emissions.
Recent research by Oxfam has found that by 2030 the carbon footprint of the world’s richest 1% is expected to be 30 times higher than the level compatible with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
Sam Nadel, Oxfam’s head of government relations, said: “It’s disconcerting that companies aren’t doing more to support global efforts to get to net zero. It’s a glaring example of irresponsible emissions, and it’s not the only one. Businesses around the world have to deal with their carbon impact.
“The emissions of the richest 10% of the population alone could send us beyond the agreed limit of 1.5 degrees in the next nine years, while in comparison, the poorest half of the population world population will still emit much less.
“This carbon inequality leaves the poorest and most vulnerable to face the devastating consequences of our overheating planet.”