'Plane pooling' minister castigated

Zuhal Demir’s decision to travel to the Climate Change Summit in Madrid by aeroplane has drawn the ire of environmental campaigners.  The Flemish climate minister and Flemish nationalist politician defends her actions by saying she is “plane pooling”, but the fact that other Belgian ministers are going to Madrid by train undermines this argument.

Ms Demir says that plane pooling is good for “our” ecological footprint: “I’m plane pooling with as many people as possible in the aircraft to make our ecological footprint as tiny as possible.  I think the plane will be completely full!”

The Belgian energy minister and a Brussels minister will both travel by rail.  One Walloon minister is going by car, while the Belgian premier travelled on a commercial flight.

Flemish climate activist Anuna De Wever is incandescent: “Mrs Minister, this is not done” she entrusted to Twitter.  “There’s no excuse for flying in Europe.  We believe you can get to Madrid by train.  Yes you can.”

Laurien Spruyt of environmental organisation BBL says that flying is the worst thing you can do for the climate:  “Irrespective of the number of people on the plane it’s always the worst option for the climate.”