The prime minister, the King, and foreign secretary David Cameron are taking separate jets to the COP28 conference in Dubai.
No 10 has confirmed that the three leading British representatives attending the climate summit will each get their own private plane.
Downing Street also confirmed that junior ministers and officials would fly out on commercial flights rather than travel with the PM’s entourage.
COP28 begins today and runs until December 12 at Expo City Dubai.
King Charles will deliver an address at the opening ceremony on Friday, addressing heads of state, government leaders and delegates, Buckingham Palace has said.
Defending the decision to take three separate jets to the summit, the prime minister’s spokesperson said that the government is “not anti-flying” and is pushing new sustainable fuels.
He said: “We do not seek to restrict the public from doing so and it’s important the UK has strong attendance at Cop28, given we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change.”
The No 10 official added: “This government’s approach to tackling climate change, as we have set out repeatedly, is not about banning or reducing people from flying. It is through investing in new technologies of the future, as evidenced by the flight just yesterday using sustainable aviation fuel.”
The first transatlantic flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), operated by Virgin Atlantic, made the journey from London Heathrow to JFK Airport in New York on Tuesday
The Liberal Democrat Party’s climate spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said the use of three separate private jets for King Charles, Lord Cameron and the prime minister “is not just a waste of taxpayers’ cash, it sends all the wrong signals about the UK’s climate commitments”.
“The UK should be playing a leading role at COP28 and driving our planet forward to a cleaner future. Instead, this government is slashing net zero targets at home while taking polluting private flights abroad”, she added.
Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer accused the PM and Lord Cameron of being members of a “super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet”.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said the “excessive climate-wrecking private flights amount to pumping jet fumes in the face of those on the frontline of this crisis”.
Ahead of the climate talks beginning today, the prime minister announced there would be a new national park for England and greater protection for urban wildlife havens and trees.
He said that he wanted to ensure that “love for the natural world continues into the next generations” and that nature was “at the centre of our action to tackle climate change”.
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