A group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate activists are protesting this morning at the entrance of a private jet terminal at Luton Airport.

They have blocked access to the vehicle entrance to the Harrods Aviation terminal on President Way. 

Luton Airport is one of the UK’s busiest private jet airports, with two separate private terminals.

Similar protests are taking place across the continent, involving hundreds of activists from XR and Scientist Rebellion in nearly a dozen countries.

At the weekend, more than 200 Greenpeace and XR activists prevented a private jet from taking off at Schipol airport in Amsterdam.

These protests are part of a new campaign called 'Make Them Pay'.

The protesters are calling on the world leaders gathering this week at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN's 27th annual climate change conference (COP27), to take action to end the use of private jets.

According to XR, private jets are 5 to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more polluting than trains.

Protesters are also demanding a tax on those who fly frequently to cut emissions and help raise funds to pay for the loss and damage caused by climate breakdown.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: XR protestors with their banner at Luton AirportXR protestors with their banner at Luton Airport (Image: Extinction Rebellion)

One of the protesters at Luton Airport, Sue Hampton from Berkhamsted, said: “Private jets are incredibly polluting. A single four hour flight produces as much carbon as the average person in a whole year.

"It is appalling to think that private jet flights are increasing year on year.

“We do not want millions of people around the world to experience more and more extreme weather events: deadly heatwaves, droughts, crop failures, famine, disease, floods and mass extinctions.

"Death on a huge scale. It’s already happening – and made worse by private jets.”

Another protester at the scene, El Litten from Luton, said:“It is hard to believe that the sale and use of private jets is almost totally untaxed – they allow a tiny number of people to produce massively high emissions, which contribute to deaths, loss and damage around the world.

"Even locally, a Public Health England report found that around 86 deaths per year in Luton were caused by particulate air pollution.

"The government's own climate change committee recommended that policies should be put in place to reduce the number of flights. But still no action.”

Nigel Harvey from St Albans, also protesting at the airport, said: “This week marks the beginning of COP 27 in Egypt.

"The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described humanity as being on a ‘highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator’ – and yet the aviation industry takes no notice.

"They carry on pushing for growth, regardless of the consequences for us all. That is worse than reckless.”