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Prince Harry Addresses Private Jet Controversy: No One’s Perfect

Just last month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were heavily criticized when it was revealed that they’d taken 4 flights on private jets in the space of only 11 days, when both of them are self-billed eco-warriors.
Prince Harry addresses controversy around his flying on private jets "occasionally" in Amsterdam 9 photos
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This looked like a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do,” and people from all over the world were quick to take Harry and Meghan to the task for it, regardless of how many celebrities rushed to speak out in their defense. Flying a private jet when commercial flights are also available, when you’re trying to raise awareness on climate change and the urgent need for action seems hypocritical.

Prince Harry is the first to agree to that – sort of. He’s now in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to start a new initiate on eco-tourism, Travalys, in partnership with Booking.com, Sky Scanner, TripAdvisor and Visa. Speaking with the media at A’Dam Tower, he said he’d flown commercial for this business meeting and then addressed the controversy of the private jets for the first time.

A video from the Royal Family Channel with this snippet of the conversation is also available at the bottom of the page.

“Occasionally, there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe, it's genuinely as simple as that,” Prince Harry said. “It is about balance. If I have to do that – and it's not a decision I would want to take – I would ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure I do, is balance. I have always offset my CO2.”

He’s talking about the scheme Sir Elton John also made reference to, which sees (rich) people flying private donating an amount equal to an estimation of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the flight. That money is then used in a program meant to offset the effects of pollution and the act of donating it is called making a flight carbon-neutral.

However, critics took issue with that too, saying that once you put those emissions in the atmosphere, there’s no taking them back, no matter how much money you give away. Prince Harry says that doing a small gesture is better than doing nothing at all.

“We could all do better,” he told reporters at the Amsterdam meeting. “While no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”

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