Air France 777 Vandalized By Greenpeace

Filed Under: Air France/KLM

An Air France 777 has just been vandalized by Greenpeace at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Greenpeace “paints” Air France 777 green

Today a group of Greenpeace protestors spray painted an Air France 777 green at Charles de Gaulle Airport. It’s not known how exactly they managed to bypass security and get onto the tarmac (but that seems like a safety concern, and someone should be held accountable), but they did manage to do so. They spent quite a while spray painting the plane, wearing white suits that said “greenwashing in progress.”

The plane that was spray painted was an Air France 777-200ER with the registration code F-GSPB. The plane was delivered to the airline in 1998, and hasn’t flown for nearly a year. The last flight for this plane was on March 17, 2020, from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

For those of you not familiar with Greenpeace, it’s a non-governmental environmental organization that describes itself as using “non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.”

What was Greenpeace’s motive?

Greenpeace is angry because the organization believes a significant reduction in air traffic is needed to address climate change. Here’s how Greenpeace’s website describes its actions and stance:

This morning, Greenpeace activists entered the tarmac at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport to denounce the government’s greenwashing on the air. Faced with the climate crisis, it is necessary to regulate and reduce air traffic so that it is compatible with the Paris Agreement, while anticipating the reconversion of this sector and the social consequences that this would have for all workers. and affected workers.

A few days before the start of parliamentary debates on the “Climate and Resilience” bill, we would like to firmly remind you that the technological innovations so much praised by the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, will not be enough to stem the climate crisis. The regulation and reduction of air traffic are essential.

Specifically, Greenpeace argues the following:

  • All airport expansion projects in France need to be stopped
  • Flights should be banned for markets that have train service that takes less than 6hr; previously the government had agreed to a policy like this for train rides of up to 2hr30min
  • More money needs to be invested into train service, so that it’s available in even more markets
  • Airlines shouldn’t be able to get out of their environmental obligations through carbon offsetting, but rather they need to reduce emissions significantly, and this can’t just come through getting more fuel efficient planes

If you’re wondering how politicians are taking this feedback, it seems like the answer is “not very well.” Greenpeace France Tweeted at French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, saying the following:

“So with all these elements @Djebbari_JB: when do you really start reducing air traffic, to bring the sector into line with the climate emergency?”

Djebbari simply responded to that Tweet by saying:

“Criminal proceedings?”

Bottom line

Greenpeace managed to break into the secure area of Charles de Gaulle Airport and spray paint an Air France 777 green, as part of an environmental protest. The organization is doing this a few days before France’s government discusses a climate bill.

  1. No doubts the moron flew to Paris on a plane. Of course they’re too stupid to know how much more fuel efficient a 777 is compared to all those people driving an automobile. And safer.

  2. I have a better idea. Give the greenpeace terrorists some scrub brushes and soap and make them clean the plane.

    Bigger issue is how does CDG’s security allow someone to get on the tarmac?

  3. Not very chic but it looks quite decent – if “Banksy” did that it would increase the value of the aircraft. If it doesn’t compromise safety, I wouldn’t be in a rush to remove the green paint.

  4. They should all be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law which in France might be a day or two of house arrest with no croissants. Joking aside (I hope…), this is so stupid. Society already bends over backwards for the .01% — “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last” — don’t feed the crackpots…I mean crocodiles.

  5. Hope they will be thrown into jail for a lengthy time and the organization gets a hefty penalty, there are much better ways to encourage care for the environment than such childish actions. Shame on you Greenpeace….

  6. So stupid. Global aviation is a small % of global pollution. Plus, all engine manufacturers have new efficient technology that will only become better. This makes them look like fools.

  7. undoubtedly they walked to and from their homes to CDG because it would be hypocritical to use ANY form of transportation that emits anything into the atmosphere including their own “natural gas”

  8. Like many on the far-left, Greenpeace has the best of intentions (making the Earth’s climate a better place for future generations), but no common sense regarding how to get the general public on-board with their ideas (PETA has the same problem with their propaganda). I don’t see how vandalizing a 777 is going to get the general public more interested/involved in fighting climate change. Greenpeace has done some amazing things in the past like harassing the whaling ships that were hunting whales to extinction, but this plane stunt is silly and makes their organization look silly as well. Unlike whale hunting (which doesn’t need to exist anymore), many people HAVE to fly, especially people like my wife who is a 1st generation immigrant who has to visit her family overseas. Greenpeace should have the common sense to realize that.

  9. How you can write about this without condemning their actions is beyond me. Only someone at security should be held accountable?!? Shameful.

  10. The inhabits of Earth have become so dumb and silly since 2016. I wonder how history will define us. As the Age of Impetuous? Where are the grown-ups??

  11. Greenpeace going after France for CO emissions is a low IQ move. France already has some of the lowest CO emissions per capita in the developed world because the majority of its power grid is nuclear, which is emission-free. Emissions will drop further as EVs gain popularity. Air France is probably one of the larger CO emitters in the country, but the tech isn’t yet there to run electric or alternative fuel planes. Overall France is the model that the rest of the developed world should follow.

  12. What these activists need to do next is to draw attention to the fuel waste by US military aircraft. I would like they try to attempt something similar on the U.S. B-2 Spirit fleet at Whiteman Air Force Base.

  13. @Jeffrey if people tried to sneak onto the Whiteman Air Force Base I promise you they would not make it even 100 feet of the B-2 Spirit planes haha

  14. @yolo
    “Global aviation is a small % of global pollution.”

    Did your momma never teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?!

    Airbus recently reported that the planes it sold in the last two years will, over their lifespan, emit one BILLION tonnes of CO2.

    Most people think a billion is just a bit more than a million. A handy comparison is that 1 million seconds is just under two weeks; 1 billion seconds is just over 31 years.

  15. Greenpeace is part of the European “de-growth” movement. While that sounds like a cozy name, in reality it is a dangerous ideology that, if implemented, would see all of us sliding back into a substandard quality of life while a select few live ultra well.

  16. They should leave it. More paint = more weight = more fuel burned as that aircraft flies. Let their action contribute to what they supposedly trying to “undo”.

  17. @Justin
    “if people tried to sneak onto the Whiteman Air Force Base I promise you they would not make it even 100 feet of the B-2 Spirit planes haha”

    Why do you think I would like to watch them try?

  18. Why is anyone expecting Greenpeace’s actions to be rational? Don’t you know better? And who’s to say it wasn’t an AF or airport employee.

  19. Some people spend 4-5 years in college, and all they learn is how to be “activists”. 777 does not fly routes that can be replaced by trains, but these people are more interested in symbols than meaning.

    Do people actually fly on shorter domestic routes in France, except when connecting to/from long-haul routes? TGV trains in France are great where they run on high-speed network, and they produce no emissions since most of electricity in France is from nuclear power plants (don’t tell GreenPeace).

    On the other hand, I almost laughed when I recently saw a Tesla with West Virginia plates. Unless the owner has solar panels, this is as close as you can get to a coal-powered car – 91% of electricity in West Virginia is from coal.

  20. I think all airlines should get together and ban them from flying for life.

    That’s what they want anyway, right? So be it!

  21. Nobody else see the irony of them painting a plane that’s in long term storage? If you’re going to protest, at least be disruptive and paint one that will then have to be removed from service for a few days.

  22. Some people believe that since there was no violence, prison should never be part of the sentence.

  23. Such noble warriors. Presumably they did not use any car, phone, or synthetic clothing in this plot to successfully grind all fossil fuel use to a halt. Using plastics, polyester, metals, lubricants, or of course fuels dependant an that which you protest would be the hight of hypocrisy.

    In fact, since they are really protesting capitalism, they would surely not use the fruits of capitalism. So I assume these mighty warriors did all this wearing burlap sacks with nothing more than their walking sticks and the power of gaia. Oh wait, the paint they used is most certainly made from fossil fuels, and by an evil capitalist corporation too!

    And now the airline and airport will have to use more energy, more chemicals, and more fossil fuels just to clean up their mess.

    Being an eco warrior is tough.

  24. Quite contradictory that the “green guys” are clad in plastic overalls, plastic helmets, plastic goggles, using toxic paint for the purpose and cruising around in diesel boats.
    Looks more like a bunch of attention-seeking twats than anyone without any sort of genuine concern for the environment or climate change to me??
    Any new iteration of an existing jet engine (let alone a brand new one) does more for the environment than Greenpeace, Fridays for Future or any of these has done or will ever do.

  25. The greenpeace demands are not wrong, high speed rail should replace short haul aviation, and in Europe it can. AMS, CDG, FRA, LYS, ZRH etc. all have high speed rail station so airlines should be enabling multimodal ticketing so you don’t have to connect shot haul by plane (LX and LH already do).

    The 6 hour limit is a sensible one as well, it covers all of Metropolitan France, at least where the high speed lines go. I’d much rather 5hrs on the TGV to paris Gare de Lyon or a one seat ride to BCN, LYS or CDG for a connecting flight. Much more comfortable and pleasant than short haul economy (or business class).

    What’s being proposed is not only better for the environment, it’s better for the passenger.

    The knee jerk reaction is to feel threatened by change even when it is for the better, and essential for our continued comfortable survival on this planet.

  26. So it’s going to apparently improve the climate by painting an already grounded plane with a paint that has noxious chemicals in it, and making a big show of it…really? I am having a hard time comprehending the success rate of this stunt. So I guess it’s a new thing for Greenpeace to breach airports and pull stunts now. just like the one they did in Amsterdam by running onto the runway in front of a departing KLM 777. seriously? Greenpeace needs to stop and think about their actions and maybe start by taking action from the top.

  27. Ed. If people wanted that, they would choose it. It should not be forced upon them. What other activities are to be decided for us?

  28. Of course activism denouncing the environmental impact of flying is going to draw these kinds of responses on a frequent flying blog, but we are truly facing a climate emergency.

    The top 1% of earners globally need to cut 97% of their emissions to get to their “fair share.” In the United States that means you earn over $109,000. We all know that flying is the most polluting activity on an individual basis, right? And there’s no viable technology currently to make it much cleaner?

    I love flying and traveling as much as the next person but let’s be real with what kind of world we are creating for ourselves and our children.

  29. Greenpeace is all about doing things to hit the headlines and getting people talking about it, so from that point of view, I would say this one worked pretty well. It’s in the news, it’s discussed here and more people connect flying with big pollution. Yes we need aviation but there is more that could be done to make it greener, and so this bit of green paint might just change a few more minds to push towards greener aviation which will only come, if governments also get behind it more.

  30. Spray painting a grounded plane is like beating a dead horse, no? Or shooting fish in a barrel? Either way, color me unimpressed and dare I say bored.

  31. Idiots! There is a right way and wrong way to protest! But I am sure some of their big private donors will pay any fines restitution etc.

  32. So they have political views and if you dont oblige they will vandalize your property? How come this organization is still legal.

  33. What is stopping anyone from cutting their emissions by 97% if they truly believe in global warming??? Show me the way, and I may believe you are concerned about more than virtue signaling that you are a “really good” person.

  34. Because, jcil, in this case it doesn’t matter a rat’s a*** what we do as individuals. We need massive, comprehensive structural change to avert catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. We need to change systems, although individuals can and do play their part.

    I, as an individual, cannot build a high speed rail line to remove the need for air travel over distances, but I can lobby the government to do this. I have different means but it’s important that people like Greenpeace are out there raising the awareness of these issues. It got us all talking about it for a start.

  35. Given Air France’s penchant for not keeping exteriors very clean, I’m surprised anyone noticed… 🙂

  36. My challenge still stands, show me how you will survive with only 3% of your current emissions. Anything but is cheap claptrap from a closet totalitarian blowhard.

  37. Well done Greenpeace! Look at all the infantile ranting in this forum alone!

    Mission accomplished. I’ll double my annual contribution to Greenpeace.

  38. The idiocy of these people knows no bounds…
    Also, do I understand correctly that they want airlines to cut down on emissions but NOT by carbon offsetting and also NOT BY GETTING MORE FUEL EFFICIENT PLANES?? How else are they meant to do that? The hell?

  39. How about using a small part of fossil fuel created plastic to prevent the earth’s over population.

    By reducing the ~225,000 DAILY births.

    Reducing demand would automatically reduce supply.

  40. Since Greenpeace takes responsibility, I think it should be easy to send them the bill for restoring the plan. I hope it is not too cheap.

  41. Wonder where all those paint chemicals will go once it is washed.. Helping or hurting the environment? Crazy vandalism isn’t deemed violent, they destroyed private property.. Ever met someone whos house was broken into? How did they cope?

  42. Lucky,

    In the name of journalistic integrity I would like to point out that the protesters used a paint roller on a long pole, rather than spray paint. I don’t think that they would have reached beyond the wheels with spray paint.

  43. @UpperDeckJohnny
    So true – this is actually the only solution to our climate challenges. Nobody would ever give up 90% of their income and live like paupers for saving our environment and earth.

  44. @SBS

    While I agree with the valid technical points you make, I have to nitpick your WV Tesla anecdote. It is funny on the face of it, nevertheless two big things are missed here, which I’ve see said again and again. So here goes.

    1) While 91% of electricity generated within WV’s borders may be from coal, this is not the same electricity on its grid. All of WV is under PJM, which is an operator that runs an area much larger than WV. PJM itself is part of the Eastern interconnection of the US, which covers. The mix of generation within PJM and the eastern US has a much smaller fraction of coal than 0.91. In fact there’s a good bit of nuclear.

    2) MOST IMPORTANTLY: When people say that EVs are powered by fossil fuels, they’re missing that EVs use regenerative braking a ton, and so make much more efficient use of their energy to produce motion. Same reason a Tesla rarely needs a brake job. Even if the charge is from >50% coal + gas generation, this might still beat a non-hybrid gasoline car on CO2 emissions. Why? Because the latter can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Once you burn the gas to spin the engine, most of the energy is lost as heat, whether through friction or out the tailpipe. Braking does nothing to help that, just costs money (typically more for those who fly past me to sit at that visibly red light).

  45. Hmmmm… Greenpeace, it’s a non-governmental environmental organization that describes itself as using “non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.” In the States, vandalism is considered an act of violence, at least under federal law. I guess Greenpeace is not longer using non-violent ways.

    I also agree, someone or more needs to be held accountable for the security breach. I can see TSA ordering Air France to increase security checks on those flying to the U.S. because of this.

  46. It’s a shame this didn’t happen at sea. The French Navy is 1-0 versus greenfarce in what was quite a decisive win some years back.

  47. @J2K – WV Tesla was just too funny to burden it with technical details 🙂

    I completely agree with your post on substance, though. Regenerative braking is a major advantage of electric and hybrid cars, and of course even if this particular Tesla is not charged from solar panels, one can still buy all-renewable electricity in some places. Of course, the same Greenpeace Luddites protest against transmission lines that make things like Eastern Interconnection possible.

    Electric cars are less of a choice for people living in old apartment/condo buildings that lack the infrastructure for chargers – and there are plenty of these buildings, especially in New England, New York, and elsewhere in old industrial Northeast.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.