Just Stop Oil Activists Attack Jets at Stansted Airport

A Just Stop Oil activist with a painted private jet at Stansted Airport
Photo Credit: Just Stop Oil

Environmental group Just Stop Oil have staged a protest at Stansted Airport on Thursday morning. Members of the group targeted private jets, spraying the parked aircraft with orange paint.

At around 5:00 am, two of the group entered the private airfield at Stansted airport where Taylor Swift’s jet is currently stationed. The pair painted two private jets using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint.

The action comes amid ongoing debate about the environmental impact of aviation and the role of fossil fuels in climate change.

Stansted Airport Incident

Jennifer Kowalski, a former sustainability manager, and Cole Macdonald were identified as the two activists involved. The pair reportedly gained access to a private airfield at the airport.

They used fire extinguishers filled with orange paint to target multiple jets. Video footage captured by the activist group shows the pair spraying the paint at a parked light jet.

Just Stop Oil is demanding that the incoming UK government prioritize a plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2030. It has called for similar action from governments worldwide.

The group contends that the current system creates an unfair situation. A small number of people benefit from high-emission activities like private jet travel. Meanwhile, others face the consequences of climate change.

Activists: Urgency of Action Required

Kowalski reportedly expressed frustration with the limitations of existing sustainability efforts, arguing for more impactful action.

Macdonald also pointed to the disproportionate impact of private jet emissions compared to commercial flights.

Estimates show that 80% of the world’s population has never flown. Just 1% of people cause 50% of global aviation emissions.

Private jet users are responsible for up to 14x as much carbon emissions compared with a commercial flight.

A single flight in a private jet can easily emit as much carbon dioxide as the average annual carbon footprint for an EU citizen. This equates to approximately 8.2 tonnes.

Just Stop Oil advocates for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This is an international agreement for a rapid and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels.

The treaty prioritizes wealthy nations with high historical emissions to transition to clean energy by 2030, followed by a developing world transition.

The group reportedly criticized governments for prioritizing the interests of oil corporations over the well-being of citizens.

They warned of further disruptive actions planned for this summer alongside partner organizations in several European countries, unless governments take concrete steps towards ending fossil fuel dependence.

Photo Credits: Just Stop Oil


This protest highlights the ongoing debate about climate change and the role of fossil fuels. Whilst climate change is a recognized point of major concern, reactions and public response to Just Stop Oil’s actions and methods remains mixed.

The activist group released a formal statement following this morning’s attack at Stansted Airport.

The statement concluded with a claimed plan of attack across the summer season. “This summer, areas of key importance to the fossil fuel economy will be declared sites of civil resistance around the world.”

Yesterday’s attack by the group at the Stonehenge historic site has raised questions from several quarters. Some have questioned whether the chosen site directly targets areas crucial to the fossil fuel economy.

Stonehenge custodians pointed out that several rare species of lichen are living on the rocks.

Members of the group defaced the Stonehenge monoliths using a cornflour-based paint. Experts are currently assessing the potential environmental damage caused by the attack.

The stones are covered in more than fifty different lichens, some of them rare. This meant brushing or washing the paint off was not possible.

Nevertheless, this morning’s airport incident raises broader questions about the future of energy consumption and the need for significant change.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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