Prince Charles' climate change stance 'political' to Australians
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The Prince of Wales has been accused of “absolute hypocrisy” over a polluting flight ahead of the ceremony that saw Barbados and the Queen cut ties.
A plane flew 125 miles to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk for Charles’ convenience because the base is nearer to Sandringham. Critics say the prince should have opted for driving to the aircraft’s usual home, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, in his electric vehicle.
While it would have added two hours of driving to his journey it would have reduced his impact on the environment.
That decision would have been more aligned with his message at the COP26 climate conference, where he told world leaders: “We have to reduce emissions urgently.
“We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.
“We know what we must do.”
The heir to the throne urged them to do more than “just talk”, which he admitted he had also been guilty of for the past 40 years.
The vocal anti-monarchist group Republic took to Twitter to say: “Charles is a climate change hypocrite who wastes millions of pounds on taxpayers’ money.”
The Voyager in which Charles travelled, an Airbus A330 also used by senior Government ministers, is the first RAF plane to run on biofuels blended with normal aviation fuel.
A Clarence House spokesman said on Saturday: “The prince has campaigned for a shift towards sustainable aviation fuel as air travel is a crucial part of his work.
“As a result, this autumn the RAF introduced for the first time sustainable fuel and deployed it for this trip.”
But even though this “sustainable” mix is presented as a step towards creating carbon-free flight, with manufacturers claiming it can cut a plane’s CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent over its life cycle, scientists have not yet given it the thumbs-up of being truly green.
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Matt Finch, of Transport & Environment, said: “For long distances, we can’t avoid air travel, but for domestic travel, anyone should avoid flying and use other forms of transport.”
While the prince has previously urged all of his staff to cycle to work and claims his Aston Martin DB6 is powered by “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”, last week’s transport choice has put his commitment to battling climate change under scrutiny.
The RAF flight to Suffolk was reportedly part of his trip to the handover ceremony that would make Barbados a republic.
Speaking at Heroes Square in the capital Bridgetown, he said: “The creation of this republic offers a new beginning.
“From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”
A protest over the prince’s presence at the service had been planned in the city but it was denied permission on grounds of avoiding the spread of the coronavirus.
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