Britain’s Prince William has launched an attack on space tourism, urging more attention on problems closer to home ahead of the COP26 climate summit.
The comments by Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson were airing in a BBC interview later Thursday, a day after “Star Trek” star William Shatner became a real space traveller on Blue Origin’s second crewed mission.
Prince William said: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”
The mission replayed the company’s maiden human flight in July, which included its founder Jeff Bezos of Amazon and was seen as a breakthrough for the emerging space tourism sector.
Virgin Galactic, which offers a similar experience of a few minutes’ weightlessness and a view of the Earth’s curvature from the cosmos, launched its founder Richard Branson in July, a few days before Bezos.
William was speaking ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Sunday, his initiative to honour those working on environmental solutions.
Looking ahead to the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which begins on October 31, he warned world leaders against “clever speak, clever words, but not enough action”.
William said , “He’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think you know he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve, well beyond his time in warning about some of these dangers,”.
Queen Elizabeth, Charles and William are all due to attend events at the two-week summit.The gathering will try to persuade major developing economies to do more to cut their carbon emissions, and get the rich world to cough up billions more to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.