Prince Harry told to ‘stop lecturing people on climate change’ after private jet use claim

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry speak at Global Citizen Live

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Former Lib-Dem minister Norman Baker lashed out at Prince Harry after it was claimed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex flew back to California with a private jet at the end of their public visit to New York. Mr Baker, who was the MP for Lewes between 1997 and 2015, suggested there is a discordance between the concerns shown by Harry and Meghan on multiple occasions when it comes to the environment and their use of private aircraft.

He told Newsweek: “People using private jets are in the top one percent of carbon emitters in the world.

“Prince Harry needs to stop using private jets or if he wants to use private jets he needs to stop lecturing people on climate change.

“It is not particularly challenging to get a flight from New York to California – people do it all the time.”

Following their three-day official visit to New York, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the West Coast aboard a Dessault Falcon 2000, the Sun has claimed.

The newspaper wrote a private jet flight from New York to California is estimated to produce 17 tonnes of carbon emissions. 

During their visit, the Sussexes campaigned in favour of vaccine equity and held meetings with US officials as well as the United Nation’s deputy secretary-general, Amina Mohammed.

They attended a roundtable discussion focused on the Covid crisis and vaccine inequality.

They also visited a school in Harlem, where they made important donations, ranging from health and sanitary products to help families in need to vegetables and herbs to promote healthy eating.

Their tour culminated in the attendance at Global Citizen Live from its New York’s Central Park stage, where Meghan and Harry said everyone across the globe has the “fundamental right to get this vaccine” – but many of those living in developing countries have yet to gain access to it. 

During the event, other high-profile personalities also made calls for action to halt climate change and defeat poverty across the world.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President-Designate and Reading West MP, made an appeal from the same stage on which Meghan and Harry stood.

Addressing G20 countries, he urged them to make bolder commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to pledge millions to support developing nations deal with the impacts of climate change.

Prince Harry and Meghan have been accused multiple times over the past two years of flying using private jets rather than commercial flights. 

The Independent claimed in August the Duke of Sussex returned to California from Colorado after taking part in a charity polo tournament aboard the Gulfstream jet belonging to friend and businessman Marc Ganzi.

And the Daily Mail claimed Meghan, Harry and their son Archie crossed the border between Canada and the US in late March 2020, upon moving to California, using a private jet belonging to their friend and producer Tyler Perry.

Prince Harry addressed his family’s use of private jets in September 2019, at the launch of Travalyst – a few weeks after the Sussexes had come under fire for travelling to Ibiza and Nice with private jets.

While in Amsterdam to present the non-profit organization he leads – which has the goal to identify and help bring about the systemic changes needed in order for sustainable travel to become mainstream – the Duke of Sussex had said in his speech “we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact, the question is, what we do to balance it out”. 

After being asked about his own travel habits, he said: “I spend 99 percent of my life travelling the world by commercial.

“Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe, and it’s genuinely as simple as that.

“But, as I said in my speech, for me, what it is is about balance.

“And, if I have to do that – not a decision that I would want to take, but if I have to do that – then I would ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure that I do is to balance out that impact that I have.” 

In August 2019, Sir Elton John defended the Sussexes, saying he had paid for Harry and Meghan’s flights when they visited him to France to be made carbon neutral.

Prince Harry has distinguished himself during his years as a senior royal for his work with conservation charities.

In December 2020, Prince Harry spoke about how important it is for everyone to take action to tackle environmental issues as he supported the launch of WaterBear, a free streaming platform which connects viewers with environment-focused charities.

He said in a video message: “For me, it’s about putting the dos behind the says and that is something which WaterBear is doing, is going to be doing, and you’re capitalizing on a community of doers.

“There’s a lot of people that say but this is about action.”

He added: “Every single raindrop that falls from the sky relieves the parched ground. What if every single one of us was a raindrop?

“And if every single one of us cared, which we do, because we have to care because at the end of the day nature is our life source.” has contacted representatives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for comment.   

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