(Reuters) – Prince William of Cambridge criticized billionaires involved in a space tourism race, saying that the world’s biggest brains should focus on solving the environmental problems facing Earth.
During a BBC interview broadcast on Thursday, William appeared to criticize Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, Elon Musk and Britain’s Richard Branson, whose rival companies compete to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel. .
“We need some of the best brains and minds in the world focused on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go live,” William said of the space race.
His comments come after Musk spoke about missions to Mars, and Bezos described his maiden spaceflight in July as part of building a path to space “so that our children and their children can build a future.”
“We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth,” said Bezos, who on Wednesday celebrated Star Trek actor William Shatner traveling into space in his New Shepard spacecraft.
The work of the British royal family in favor of the Earth
Talking about environmental issues has become an important feature of the British royal family, and William, 39, is following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, and his father, the Prince carlos.
Carlos, the 72-year-old heir to the throne, has called for decades to take action to stop climate change and environmental damage, long before the problem became widespread, and he often faces ridicule along the way.
“It has been a difficult road for him. He’s had a really tough ride on that, and I think it has shown that he is way ahead of the curve, ”said William.
“But it shouldn’t be that now a third generation comes along that has to do even more. For me, it would be an absolute disaster if George (his oldest son) sits here … in about 30 years, still saying the same thing, because by then we would be too late. “
Echoing his father’s message earlier this week, William also said that the upcoming COP26 summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland had to be delivered.
“We can’t have smarter speech, smart words but not enough action,” said William.
The prince’s personal response to the issue has been to create the Earthshot Prize, which aims to find solutions through new technologies or policies to the greatest environmental problems on the planet.
The first five winners, who will each receive 1 million pounds (US $ 1.4 million), will be announced at a ceremony on October 17.