London, United Kingdom:
Britain’s Prince William has attacked space tourism, urging more attention to problems closer to home ahead of the COP26 climate summit.
Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson’s comments were circulating in a BBC interview Thursday, a day after “Star Trek” star William Shatner became an actual astronaut on Blue Origin’s second crewed mission.
The mission re-launched the company’s first manned flight in July, featuring Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and was seen as a success for the emerging space tourism sector.
But Prince William said: “We need some of the greatest minds and minds in the world who are trying to repair this planet, not going and trying to find the next place to live.”
Virgin Galactic, which offers a few minutes of weightlessness and a similar experience of Earth’s curvature from the universe, launched its founder Richard Branson in July, a few days before Bezos.
William was speaking ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Sunday, his initiative to honor those working on environmental solutions.
Looking ahead to the COP26 summit in Glasgow starting 31 October, he warned world leaders against “clever speaking, clever words, but not enough action”.
‘ahead of the curve’
“It would be an absolute disaster if (son) George talking to you … in 30 years’ time, still saying the same thing, because by then we would be too late.”
William’s father, Prince Charles, a lifelong environmentalist, has also spoken out on the need for action from leaders, rather than words, in the build-up to the UN climate summit.
“He’s had a really rough ride on him, and I think you know he’s proven to be well ahead of the curve, well beyond his time in warning about some of these dangers,” William said.
“But it shouldn’t be that there is now a third generation coming to raise it even more.”
Queen Elizabeth, Charles and William are all scheduled to attend events over the two-week summit.
The gathering will seek to persuade major developing economies to do more to cut their carbon emissions, and prompt the rich world to spend billions more to help poor countries adapt to climate change. .
William said, “I want the things I’ve enjoyed—outdoor life, nature, the environment—that I want for my children, not just my children but everyone else’s.”
“If we’re not careful we’re robbing our kids of the future that we do now. And I think that’s not fair.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)