Is the Prince of Wales Green?
I really can't decide. According to an annual review, the Prince of Wales’ ‘personal expenditure’ in the last year rose to over $5 million, but yet his carbon footprint actually reduced. The review claims that the prince’s household is actually carbon neutral, but also shows that in 2006-7 its footprint was a staggering 3,425 tonnes. Presumably this means that the Prince offsets his emissions in some way.
The review also claims that emissions have been reduced by 9%. The reduction apparently down to taking fewer plane and helicopter journeys, introducing green energy sources and switching to bio-diesel.
However, the prince still used nearly $3 million of taxpayer’s money on air and rail travel in the last year, which is far from green. Sir Michael Peat, the prince's principal private secretary, said, "He is very busy and gets increasingly so. He does work very hard to try to make a difference." Peat also went on to explain that 130 people work for the prince, but that they were still understaffed.It seems to me that whilst the prince is a keen green advocate, he still leads a life that is far from green. Carbon neutral or not, it is not sustainable for a man to maintain several, enormous households, travel an enormous amount each year and have 130 staff. I remember one case, several years ago, when the prince sent an air force jet across the country to retrieve his favourite cufflinks. Since then though, he has taken the green cause to heart, and done a lot of good work for the environment and various other good causes.
However, if he was serious about living a green lifestyle, then he could sell off a few houses, get a Prius and drive it himself. That would cut his footprint dramatically, and would have the added benefit of removing the burden of funding his lifestyle from the UK taxpayers.
He does a lot of good, but I can't help but feel that there's a discrepancy between his words and his actions. Having said that, if I could command the RAF to go and collect things for me, then I may well be tempted too... ::The Guardian