Carbon offsetting ‘no solution’ over Harry and Meghan’s private jet journey

20th Aug 19 | Entertainment News

Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist has warned Sir Elton John’s approach to making the flight carbon neutral is ‘not meaningful’.

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Sir Elton John’s carbon offsetting of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private jet flight is “no solution” to aviation emissions, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist has warned.

Dr Doug Parr said good works could be done through offsetting schemes, but it is not a “meaningful response”.

Pop star Pink is the latest celebrity to join singer Sir Elton and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres in defending Harry and Meghan after they faced criticism for using private jets despite their environmental campaigning.

Pink
Pink is the latest celebrity to defend the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Ian West/PA)

Pink said the duchess has been subjected to “the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while” and called on people to show “it’s cool to be kind”, while Sir Elton condemned the “relentless and untrue assassinations on their character”.

Sir Elton revealed he provided Harry and Meghan and their baby son Archie with a private flight to Nice to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection”.

He wrote on social media that he had made sure the flight was carbon neutral by making the “appropriate contribution” to a carbon footprint fund.

Aids 2018 summit
The Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton John at the Aids 2018 summit in Amsterdam (Gareth Fuller/PA)

But Greenpeace policy guru Dr Parr stressed on Twitter: “Carbon offsetting is not a meaningful response to aviation emissions.

“Good works CAN be done with cash out into offset schemes, but it is no solution.”

Harry and Meghan reportedly took four private jet journeys in 11 days including staying with Sir Elton in Nice.

The duke highlighted the importance of protecting the environment last month, saying: “With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.”

The Sussexes
Harry and Meghan with Archie (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Grammy award-winning singer Pink tweeted: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh?

“Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.”

Sir Elton told of his deep distress on Monday at the “distorted and malicious account in the press” of the couple’s stay in his home.

He described how he felt the need to try to protect Harry and his family because of his friendship with the duke’s late mother.

He wrote: “Prince Harry’s mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.

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I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week. Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death. After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™ I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.

A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

“After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home.”

The musician, who attended the couple’s wedding, famously performed at Diana’s funeral, singing a specially reworked version of his hit song Candle In The Wind.

The Sussexes’ trip to Nice followed a reported holiday to Ibiza to mark the duchess’s 38th birthday earlier this month.

DeGeneres also joined in defended the royals, saying they were “the most down-to-earth, compassionate people”.

She added: “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”

She said she and her wife Portia de Rossi previously met the couple to talk about wildlife conservation.

On Monday, Harry and Meghan posted a quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Instagram, urging their followers to overwhelm the world with “little bits” of good.

It read: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

TV presenter Piers Morgan tweeted a picture of himself on an economy flight to Nice.

He added the message: “Memo to ‘eco-warriors’ Meghan & Harry: this is what Economy to Nice looks like. Try it some time.”

The general public seemed to be more sympathetic to the royal couple than Morgan.

A YouGov poll published on Tuesday found 44% felt Harry and Meghan were treated too harshly by the media.

Twenty-three percent thought the coverage was fair and balanced, only 9% thought the press were too favourable to the Sussexes, while 24% said they did not know.

© Press Association 2019

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