Britain’s Prince William has taken a thinly veiled push against the billionaires involved in a space tourism race, saying the world’s biggest brains should instead be focused on solving the environmental problems facing Earth.
- Several entrepreneurs are currently in a race to develop commercial space tourism
- Prince William said that “the world’s greatest mind” should instead repair the planet Earth
- The Duke of Cambridge warned that people could “steal” children from their future if the climate crisis is not resolved
During a BBC interview at Kensington Palace, William appeared to criticize Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Briton Richard Branson, whose rival companies are all struggling to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
His comments came after Musk talked about missions to Mars and Bezos, which in July described its initial spaceflight as part of building a path to space “so our children and their children can build a future”.
“We have to do it to solve the problems here on Earth,” said Mr Bezos, who was celebrating sending Star Trek actor William Shatner into space in his New Shepard spacecraft this week.
Talking about green issues has become an important element of the British royal family.
William, 39, follows in the footsteps of his late grandfather Prince Philip and his father, Prince Charles.
Charles, the 72-year-old heir to the throne, has for decades called for action to stop climate change and environmental damage, which is often ridiculed along the way.
“It’s been a tough road for him. He’s had a really tough ride on it and I think he’s proven to be far ahead of the curve,” William said.
“But it should not be that now comes a third generation that must increase it even more.”
The prince warned that people could “steal from our children’s future” if the climate crisis is not resolved in time.
“Now I have also had children and talk to other parents, it is a bit of a cliché, but you start to see the world differently.
“I want the things I’ve enjoyed – the outdoors, nature, the environment – I want it to be there for my children, and not just my children, but everyone else’s children.
He said the key to tackling climate change is to “bring people with us”.
“People need to feel that there is hope, there is a chance we can solve this.”
In an echo of his father’s message earlier this week, William said the forthcoming UN climate conference COP26 summit in Scotland should deliver.
His personal answer to the question has been to create the Earthshot Award, which aims to find solutions through new technologies or policies to the planet’s biggest environmental problems.