William and Kate lead by example

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed his Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to a Royal Reception at Kelvingrove Museum as part of the COP26 World Leaders Summit Day in Glasgow. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “very aware” of the criticism royals experience when it comes to their carbon footprint and took sensible steps to attend COP26.

The Royal couple travelled to Scotland on Monday by train and only used an electric car whilst in Glasgow attending the climate summit.

Kate returned to London for a charity event on Tuesday evening on a commercial flight and Prince William returned yesterday by train.

One royal commentator said: “Now is clearly not a time for Royals using helicopters. The big question: will this be a permanent change in travel, or not?”

Prince Charles may be well-known for his decades of environmental campaigns, but it seems his eldest son, Prince William, may take his crown as the Royal Family’s biggest activist against pollution and helping the planet.

Sources close to the William and Kate are quick to point out the pair are known for their green choices.

Over recent years the prince has described plastic as “the enemy” and expressed his concerns around recycling. In fact it is well known in royal circles the couple recycle everything they can and even travel with metal reusable water bottles.

Prince William told a group of young people back in 2019:

“I hate plastic bottles now and I look at them and I literally think it’s the enemy.

“You see a plastic bottle and I’m like ‘eugh’. Horrible isn’t it?”

Earlier this year Prince William issued a rallying cry to the next generation to keep on “demanding change” as innovative green projects from across the globe were awarded £1 million by his Earthshot Prize.

William called on the younger members of society not to “give up hope” during the event.

Vinisha Umashankar, a schoolgirl from India and the youngest finalist in The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize joined the prince at COP26 and was given a standing ovation by world leaders for her solar-powered ironing cart invention.

Her ironing cart aims to replace charcoal-heated irons street vendors use in India, that create pollution when being used.

Last year in a Ted Talk recorded in the grounds of Windsor Castle, William praised humanity’s ability for problem-solving, adding he is determined to remain an optimist.

The future king gave the address under the canopy of an oak tree in the castle grounds, where royals have lived for more than 900 years.

He said:

“Over my grandmother’s lifetime, the last 90 years or so, our impact has accelerated so fast that our climate, oceans, air, nature and all that depends on them are in peril.

“This oak has stood here for centuries but never has it faced a decade like this.

“We start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history. The science is irrefutable.

“If we do not act in this decade, the damage that we have done will be irreversible and the effects felt not just by future generations, but by all of us alive today.

“How can we hope to fix such massive, intractable problems? It may seem overwhelming, but it is possible.

“Humans have an extraordinary capacity to set goals and strive to achieve them.”

Whilst on their visit to Scotland the royal couple went to Alexandra Park Sports Hub in Dennistoun to meet with young Scouts and hear how about their #PromiseToThePlanet campaign.

The prince and Kate, who is joint president of The Scout Association, took part in activities that demonstrate how scouting is helping to equip young people with the skills to tackle climate change. They grilled up veggie burgers, made and scattered wildflower seed ‘bombs,’ and mastered the basics of bicycle maintenance.

Prince William and Kate also joined Prince Charles to host a reception for key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative as well as the winners and finalists of the Prince’s Earthshot Prize Awards.

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