Climate activists spray-paint private jets at London airport

Climate Activists Spray-Paint Private Jets at London Airport, Targeting Taylor Swift’s Plane

Two climate activists from the Just Stop Oil group were arrested after breaking into a private airfield at London’s Stansted Airport and spray-painting two private jets in orange. The activists believed one of the jets belonged to Taylor Swift, although her plane was not present at the time of the incident.

Key Takeaways

  • Two activists from Just Stop Oil were arrested for spray-painting private jets at Stansted Airport.
  • The activists targeted the jets believing one belonged to Taylor Swift, but her plane was not at the airport.
  • The protest aimed to highlight the environmental impact of private jet use.

The Incident

On Thursday morning, two activists from the Just Stop Oil group broke into a private airfield at London’s Stansted Airport. Using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint, they spray-painted two private jets. The activists believed one of the jets belonged to Taylor Swift, who was in London for her Eras Tour. However, a representative for Stansted Airport confirmed that Swift’s jet was not at the airport during the incident.

Arrest and Charges

Essex Police arrested the two activists, identified as Jennifer Kowalski and Cole Macdonald, on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure. The arrests occurred shortly after 5:10 a.m. on Thursday. Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow stated that while the police are not against protests, they will take action when criminal acts occur.

Just Stop Oil’s Statement

Just Stop Oil, known for its controversial protest tactics, confirmed that the planes targeted did not belong to Swift. The group stated that the protest was generally aimed at private planes, but the activists likely believed Swift’s aircraft was at the airport. The group singled out Swift’s jet in their social media post because it is considered "the most emitting" of all celebrity private jets.

Environmental Impact of Private Jets

According to a study by My Climate Tracker, rapper Travis Scott had the most private jet use in 2023, with 137 flights resulting in 6,061,300 kg of CO2 emissions. In contrast, Swift was not among the top 30 celebrities with the most private jet use in 2023. However, in 2022, Swift produced the most CO2 emissions of all celebrities, with 170 flights and an average flight time of 80 minutes. Swift’s spokesperson has previously stated that her jet is often loaned out to other individuals and that she has purchased carbon credits to offset her jet use.

Broader Context

The protest at Stansted Airport is part of a series of actions by Just Stop Oil to draw attention to the environmental impact of fossil fuels. The group has previously defaced famous artworks and landmarks, including Stonehenge. They demand that governments commit to ending the extraction and burning of oil, gas, and coal by 2030.


The incident at Stansted Airport highlights the ongoing debate over the environmental impact of private jet use. While the activists’ actions were illegal, they succeeded in drawing attention to the issue. As climate change continues to be a pressing global concern, such protests are likely to continue.


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