A joke that didn’t work. The French Prime Minister also commented on the PSG coach’s statement

The TGV high-speed train travels from Paris Montparnasse station to the western French city of Nantes in exactly two hours and two minutes. However, the footballers of the millionaire club PSG flew to Saturday’s league match against FC Nantes in a private jet. Brazilian defender Marquinhos took his photo on the board and shared the photo on social networks. And all this at a time when French regions are dealing with long-term drought or, on the contrary, floods as a result of climate change.

At the press conference on Monday, one of the journalists asked coach Christoph Galtier about the chosen method of transport in Nantes. And Galtier, although he knew the question would fall, chose an ironic answer: “This morning we discussed with the company that transports us if we can move to a sand yacht,” he declared.

Sitting next to him, soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé burst out laughing.

When asked exactly what Mbappé thinks about private flights, the player replied that there are none.

They must realize what kind of world we live in

However, the footballer’s provocative answer and reaction in a country where climate change is being taken seriously by politicians and their voters, caused heavy criticism.

In addition to environmental activists, several ministers rejected the coach’s statement, even Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday: “I think it is important for them to realize what kind of world we live in, to realize that there is climate crisis that no longer exists. a hypothesis for tomorrow, but it is a reality today,” he said.

France Inter calculates how much emissions differ when traveling from Paris to Nantes by train and plane. While 0.69 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per passenger in a TGV high-speed train, it is approximately 50 kilograms per passenger in an airplane. If we also consider other gases produced during the burning of kerosene and also a burden on the climate, we get up to 92.2 kilograms per person.

Ranking of celebrities who damage the climate the most

We wrote about rich people who don’t hesitate to use private jets even for 15-minute flights here:

The aforementioned data is calculated by the state environment office calculator, and non-profit organizations report higher numbers. Air France, on the other hand, calculated on a particular route with 36 kilograms of CO2 per person, because they offer a tree-planting program as compensation.

But this only applies to scheduled flights, not to private flights chosen by the management of the Paris club. According to Prosky’s calculator, emissions per person add up to 112 kilograms of carbon dioxide per person, and the non-profit organization Transport and the Environment notes that private jet transport emits four to 14 times that more emissions per person than airline transport and 50 times more than in the case of a train (the numbers have a range due to the fact that the capacity of a private plane also depends).

An inappropriate joke at a bad time

In Tuesday’s press conference after the win against Juventus Turin, the Parisian coach ironically had to repent and apologize. “Believe me, I’m concerned about climate issues and I realize the responsibility we have… It’s a joke that came at a bad time, it’s inappropriate and I’m sorry for it,” Galtier said.

However, the coach defended his club in a different way, saying that the players pay a lot of attention to the climate problem, as well as the management. Galtier argued during a recent game in Lille in the north of the country, where PSG’s star players traveled 2.5 hours by bus. The 56-year-old strategist admits he made his first communication mistake since his appointment and said he has learned from it: “I don’t think you can joke anymore in France… even if my joke is not the best, which is fast I realized when I got home,” he admitted.

Galtier’s words about players who pay a lot of attention to the climate destroy the data about the Argentinian star of the team – Lionel Messi. According to the weekly Journal du Dimanche, he made 52 flights in a private jet in just three months. He alone is responsible for releasing 1,502 tons of emissions, which would take the average Frenchman 150 years to produce.

For the sake of completeness, it should be added that the 268 flight hours of Messi’s plane, tracked by accounts that map the movements of private jets, are not only for the player himself. Sometimes Messi lends or rents his machine. For example, in February 2021, he rented a plane to the president of Argentina for $160,000 for his official visit to Mexico, and in August Messi’s former teammate Luis Suárez borrowed it for a trip to Montevideo, Uruguay.

According to environmental activists, Messi thus places himself alongside other “rich people who pollute our planet the most”.

Other similar offenders include singer Taylor Swift, boxer Floyd Mayweather, celebrity Kim Kardashian or even presenter Oprah Winfrey. But as it turns out, the public in France is more sensitive to unnecessary emissions than in the US. And that is even in the case when it comes to the football stars that the country admires.

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