Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have dedicated their summer to environmental awareness, but they've spent most of it on the receiving end of criticism after using multiple private jets.
Air travel is responsible for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European Commission, and some felt it was hypocritical for the royal couple to advocate for change while actively participating in greenhouse gas emissions. Many celebrities came to the family's defense during the media storm, but it wasn't until Prince Harry's speech announcing the first Sussex Royal Foundation project, Travalyst, this morning that the new father addressed the criticism head-on.
“I came here by commercial," he said in a Q&A according to a short video posted on Twitter. "I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe, and it’s genuinely as simple as that. But as I said in my speech, for me it's about balance."
WATCH: “I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial [aircraft]” Prince Harry says at the end of the ecotourism launch when asked about his own travel behaviour. He adds he always offsets all his travel ✈️ pic.twitter.com/1xXvBiXsC4— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 3, 2019
He also said he always offsets his CO2, which is something Elton John similarly promised when defending the royals' use of his own private jet when they visited his Nice residence back in August, saying he gave a donation to Carbon Footprint™.
"After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home," he wrote on Twitter. "To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight."
Travalyst seeks to find solutions to many of the gripes the public has had with private jets, and will do its own work to offset any of the Duke and Duchess's private travel needs in the future.
"#Travalyst aims to make travel more sustainable, to help protect destinations and benefit communities long into the future, and to enable consumers to make more environmental friendly choices whilst traveling," the @sussexroyal Instagram post explains, adding that the charity is partnering with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip Advisor, and more to help enact this change.
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We are excited to announce the launch of ‘Travalyst’, a global initiative striving to change the impact of travel, for good. Partnering alongside key travel industry giants @Bookingcom, #Ctrip, @Skyscanner, @TripAdvisor and @Visa_US, our aim is to spark a movement to transform the future of travel, putting communities at the heart of the solution. We believe in the power and importance of travel. We also have a shared responsibility to our planet and to each other. • “I want to start with a little bit of background as to specifically why I’m here today, because as you may know, I am not a tourism or business expert, but through my travels I have observed the unique relationship between community and environment, and have noticed something alarming. There wasn’t the symbiosis or connection there needed to be and I wanted to understand why. I am one of those people fortunate enough to have a platform and I want to use it to tackle hard problems, in the hope of finding solutions…and that’s how Travalyst was born” - The Duke of Sussex The name #Travalyst comes from The Duke and partners viewing our role in sustainable travel as catalysts to accelerate positive changes in travel. Travel + catalyst = Travalyst #Travalyst aims to make travel more sustainable, to help protect destinations and benefit communities long into the future, and to enable consumers to make more environmental friendly choices whilst traveling. The Duke of Sussex, having invited the founding partners to start the conversation, believes that the organisations - with operations in nearly every country, hundreds of millions of customers that use their products every day, and business relationships around the world - have sufficient influence and the critical mass necessary to catalyse real system change in the travel industry, for the benefit of destinations, communities and ecosystems. To discover more about the new initiative, visit www.Travalyst.org
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