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Merkel Travels to the United States on Two Planes After Vowing to Cut Emissions

Merkel Travels to the United States on Two Planes After Vowing to Cut Emissions
Jennifer Billock

Just days after the government announced a multibillion-dollar plan to help tackle climate change in Germany, reports are coming in that the country’s chancellor and defense minister will be both flying to the United States—in two separate planes, that essentially take off and land at the same time.

Germany is coming under some criticism today for actions that are considered to be harmful to the environment shortly after announcing a $61 billion package to help the environment and tackle climate change. Just two days after the package was announced, it was discovered that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer come to the United States for the UN Climate Summit in two separate planes, DW reported. Two different planes to go to the same destination.

Originally the pair was set to fly on one plane together, but a spokesman for the Defense Ministry told the German newspaper Bild that: “In the course of planning this trip, we have made every effort to optimize the use of the aircraft,” DW reported, which apparently means using two planes and harming the environment while concurrently on a mission to save the environment. The flights were apparently determined based on each politician’s schedule, destination and entourage size.

The climate package the country just announced includes cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030, raising gas prices, lowering train ticket prices, increasing subsidies for electric cars, raising taxes on short flights, banning oil-fired heating systems, and closing all coal-powered plants by 2038. Germany is Europe’s largest economy.


[Featured Image: Flickr/ John Gillespie]

View Comments (10)


  1. Dublin_rfk

    September 24, 2019 at 8:39 am

    IF! and I do mean IF! These self proclaimed climate warriors were serious about curbing climate change the would start by leading by example! They could / should crawl down to their basement and ‘attend’ these grand conferences by remote video. Not only would they reduce their carbon foot print but they could keep it in their home country!

  2. strickerj

    September 24, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Unsurprisingly, cuts and sacrifices in the name of the environment are only for us peasants. How much energy does Al Gore use, again?

  3. flyerCO

    September 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    There’s also a security issue having both the Chancellor and Defense Minister onboard the same flight. I do get the optics look awful. However just not flying or flying one plane instead of two isn’t always a possibility.

  4. wh6cto

    September 24, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Title says “Merkel Travels to the United States on Two Planes”, but it was the Defense Minister on the other plane, so it’s misleading. In any case, this is common practice for Continuity of Operations (COOP). Incidents in the private sector illustrate the need: Trump’s casino lost a bunch of executives in a single plane crash before they went under, so did Circuit City.
    I agree with the first commenter about the possibility of attending via videoconference, at least for the second attendee. Even an in-person speaker is too tiny to see, so they typically get put on a big video screen anyway! BTW, why does the defense minister need to attend an environmental conference? Aren’t there other government agencies that have a more direct impact on the environment (i.e. transportation, energy)?

  5. SF1K

    September 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Hmm…well since certain members of our government don’t seem to care too much about the environment at the moment, I’m guessing that all the amounts of travel done by our “leader” are excused. Particular the (taxpayer) cost and emissions for all those trip to Florida.

  6. JackE

    September 24, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Two planes? Just how fat IS she?

  7. Fireflyer05

    September 24, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    @wh6cto the defense minister is in Washington meeting with the US defense minister. She doesn’t attend the environmental conference in New York.

  8. c502cid

    September 24, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    How Dare They!

  9. moeve

    September 25, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Unfortunately this piece and some of your comments and conclusions are also incorrect.

    Mr. Merkel and a delegation were heading to New York to the UN while the Defense minister was heading to Washington to meet her counterpart there. Initially the Defense minister was going to hitch a ride and get dropped off in Washington on the way there while taking a regular flight home on the way back because she was returning earlier.

    As it turned out there were the already mentioned security issues but they would possibly have been ignored had it not been for timing issues which made it prudent to split the two delegations since they were not heading for the same destination..

  10. Behindthecurtain

    September 25, 2019 at 6:49 am

    It’s standard in business. We have a ruling that we can’t fly together risk.

    And if they are on scheduled flights so what? The planes go anyway!

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