Prince Harry went back to work this morning following a summer break, travelling to the Netherlands to announce new partnership Travalyst, designed to promote sustainable tourism between leading online travel firms.
Harry made a speech to launch the initiative, admitting: "We can all do better. And, while no-one is perfect, we are all responsible for our own individual impact; the question is what we do to balance it out."
He flew to the event on a commercial plane, and in a Q&A following his speech addressed recent backlash over his own use of private jets.
"I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial," he revealed. "Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe," he said.
WATCH: “I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial [aircraft]” Prince Harry says at the end of the ecotourism launch when asked about his own travel behaviour. He adds he always offsets all his travel pic.twitter.com/1xXvBiXsC4— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 3, 2019
He added: "For me, what it is is about balance, and if I have to do that [fly via private jet]...then I will ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure that I do, it's to balance out that impact that I have.
"I have always offset my CO2...there are so many people out there who hear about it, who don't know about it. In my mind, it's the right thing to do."
Last month, Sir Elton John defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after backlash over photographs published by the Sun, showing new parents Meghan and Harry departing a private aircraft along with their baby son Archie in Nice.
"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," he wrote.
"To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint," the Instagram post continued.
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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.
The Sussexes have come under fire in the tabloids recently, with critics citing hypocrisy considering their firm stance on climate change and the environment. In the recent issue of British Vogue that Meghan Markle guest-edited, Prince Harry revealed the couple would only be having two children for environmental reasons.
Discussing the topic of having children, Harry's interviewee, ethologist Dr Jane Goodall said: "Not too many!", to which the interview states Harry replied: "Two, maximum!"
He continued: "I’ve always thought: this place is borrowed. And, surely, being as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation."
Clearly, Harry is passionate about environmental issues, and we hope his new venture will allow the public and tabloids to focus on the good work he's hoping to do.