Prince William has criticized the space race and space tourism, saying we should instead focus on protecting planet Earth.
“We need some of the greatest brains and minds in the world determined to try to fix this planet, not to try to find the next place to go to live,” the Duke of Cambridge said when asked about climate change.
Prince William was interviewed by BBC “Newscast” on BBC Sounds ahead of the first presentation of the Earthshot Prize, an award for people who are trying to save the planet.
The name of the award refers to America’s ‘lunar’ ambition of the 1960s, which saw President John F Kennedy pledge to send a man to the moon within a decade.
The Prince’s comments will air the day after William Shatner made history as the oldest person in space.
Known for his role as Captain Kirk, the 90-year-old actor took off from the Texas desert on Wednesday in a rocket built by the space travel company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin.
The Duke also warned the Cop26 summit, where world leaders will meet in Glasgow at the end of the month, against “smart speech, smart words but not enough action”.
“I think for the COP it is essential to communicate very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions will be,” he said.
“We can’t have smarter speech, smarter words but not enough action. “
The Duke expressed concerns about an increase in climate anxiety among young people and said it would be an “absolute disaster” if his eldest son Prince George were to speak up about the same problem 30 years from now when it was too late.
“We are seeing a rise in climate anxiety. You know, people, young people now are growing up where their future is fundamentally threatened all the time. It’s very annoying and it’s very, you know, anxiety-provoking, ”he said.
William added that his father, the Prince of Wales, who is known for his longstanding commitment to environmental issues, had a “really tough ride” when he started talking about climate change.
The Duke, who was interviewed by “Newscast” presenter Adam Fleming, said his late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, had sparked royal interest in environmental issues.
Speaking of his father Charles, Prince William said: “It has been a difficult road for him. My grandfather started helping WWF a long time ago with his work on nature and biodiversity, and I think my dad sort of stepped up and talked a lot more about climate change, very early on, before anyone else did. think it was a topic. So yeah, he’s had a really tough course on that, and I think you know he’s proven he’s way ahead of the curve.
He added that his perspective had changed since having his own children, saying, “I want the things that I enjoyed – the outdoor life, nature, the environment – I want. let it be there for my children, and not just for my children but the children of others.
“If we’re not careful, we are stealing our children’s future through what we do now. And I think that’s not fair.
This year’s five category winners will each receive £ 1million to develop their projects after being chosen by a jury. William and the Duchess of Cambridge attend the Starry Ceremony on Sunday, hosted by Clara Amfo and Dermot O’Leary, at Alexandra Palace in London.
“The award itself will spur solutions and actions that a lot of people haven’t necessarily produced yet, and so I hope, you know, the award will galvanize a lot of people in positions of responsibility to, you know, go. further, bigger and actually starting to deliver, ”said the duke.
Cop26 is the deadline by which countries are expected to present more ambitious plans, over a five-year cycle, to put the world on track to meet the Paris targets.
The 2015 Paris Agreement commits countries to keep temperature increases well below 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels and to continue their efforts to limit them to 1.5 ° C – beyond which the impacts most dangerous climatic conditions will be felt. The conference begins in Glasgow on October 31.
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