IRONY! Italy Deployed ‘Highly Polluting’ Fighter Jets To Protect G20 Rome Summit On Climate Change

After a gap of two years, world leaders met at the G20 summit in Rome recently to discuss a range of issues including climate change. Ironically, Italy had deployed its most powerful fighter jets, seen as a major contributor to environmental pollution, for the purpose of air defense during the summit.

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The G20 Summit was hosted by Italy on October 30 and 31. Several heads of state and prime ministers gathered in Rome to discuss important issues affecting their countries such as climate change, global economy, taxation, and COVID-19 vaccines among others.

The leaders committed to the key Paris Agreement goal to control the global warming levels from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius for pre-industrial levels. They also pledged to take action against “dirty” coal plants, however, they fell short in achieving the target for zero emission.

“Keeping 1.5 degrees within reach will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries, taking into account different approaches”, the G20 said in their final communique.

Leaders from all around the world also said that they will reach a target of net-zero carbon emissions “by or around mid-century”. They did not specify a clear date of 2050, which environment campaigners as well as Italy, the summit host, anticipated.

Italian F-2000A Typhoon
Italian F-2000A Typhoon. (Wikipedia)

The summit statement also said that the countries will stop the funding of dirty coal plants by the end of the year 2021, reaffirming a budget of $100 billion for developing countries as climate adaptation costs.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said, “It wasn’t easy to reach this agreement, it is a success. Over the years, the G20 countries’ capacity to work together had diminished, but something changed at this summit: the G20 countries were once again able to tackle global challenges together.”

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Apart from this, world leaders also approved an agreement, which subjects multinational companies to a minimum of 15% tax, as part of their effort for building a more “stable and fairer international tax system”.

Leaders also pledged to support the WHO’s goal to vaccinate at least 40% of the world’s population against the COVID-19 virus by the end of 2021 and 70% of the population by the year 2022.

To help advance towards the goal of vaccinating at least 40% of the world’s population by 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, as recommended by the WHO’S global vaccination strategy, we will take the steps to boost the supply of vaccines and essential medical products and inputs in developing countries and remove relevant supply and financial constraints, the G20 summit statement said on October 31.

Eurofighter Fighter Plane Flugshow - Free photo on Pixabay
Eurofighter Fighter Plane Flugshow – Pixabay

Deployment Of Fighter Jets

The Italian Air Force had deployed various types of aircraft to ensure air defense and security at the G20 summit. First of all, an ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone), with a radius of 75 NM from Rome, was implemented: all traffic that intended to operate inside the area, at any level, was required to file a Flight Plan at least 2 hours prior and operate with the assigned transponder mode.

Within 35NM from Rome, VFR traffic was denied from Ground to FL175, while within 6.5NM from Rome, all traffic was denied (except approved IFR flights from/to Fiumicino and Ciampino), as reported by The Aviationist.

To meet these requirements, the Italian Air Force offered their Eurofighter Typhoons from Grosseto, Rivolto. Along with these, the US Air Force One VC-25A and the accompanying SAM46 C-32A, as well as State Flights including, the Korean B747-400, Indian B777, German Air Force A319, the Spanish A310, the Russian Il-96, Turkish A330, Argentinian A330, Royal Australian Air Force KC-30, were involved in enforcing the ADIZ around Rome for the G20 summit.

The deployment of these aircraft during the climate summit was quite ironic given all airplanes including military jets are seen as a major contributor to environmental pollution. Green activists claim aviation fuel emits harmful gases that pose health hazards besides affecting the environment. Fighter jets are particularly singled out for creating noise pollution.

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Even though the amount of air travel accounts for only a small amount of global emissions, a single transatlantic flight can increase our carbon footprint worth a whole year’s drive. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides among the deadliest air pollutants which are emitted by airplanes.

Last year, there were reports that the UK would switch to sustainable fuel to run aircraft like F-35s and Typhoons in order to meet the country’s  ‘zero carbon emission’ target by 2050. The move is part of the UK Defense Ministry’s ambitious plans of replacing as much as 50 percent of specific jet fleets’ fuel with renewable, recycled “drop-in” fuel sources.