On Tuesday, September 3, Prince Harry spoke out for the first time after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, were criticized for taking multiple private jets, despite their regular work with sustainability and conservation this summer.

“I spend 99 percent of my life traveling the world by commercial and occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family [is] safe,” the 34-year-old explained in a speech announcing the launch of Travalyst, the first Sussex Royal Foundation project, in Amsterdam. “It’s generally as simple as that. But as I said in my speech, for me, what it is is about balance. And if I had to do that — it’s not a decision that I would want to take — but if I have to do that, then I would ensure, as I have done previously, and I will continue to make sure that I do, is to balance out that impact that I have. And I’ve always offset my CO2.”

He added, “I think part of the group discussion that we had earlier was what is offsetting CO2? There are so many people out there that hear about it, that don’t know about it, and in my mind, it’s just the right thing to do. We need to make it cool, but it can’t just be a ticking the box exercise.”

Prince Harry Wearing a Gray Suit Giving a Presentation

The redhead hunk also explained that “we can all do better.” He added, “And, while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is, what we do to balance it out.”

In August, Harry and Meghan, 38, were criticized for flying private with their newborn baby, Archie. However, celebrities were quick to defend the royal couple. “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 home in Nice, France, last week,” Elton John wrote on August 19. “After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David [Furnish] 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-need 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.”

Ellen DeGeneres also chimed in, writing, “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. They were the most down to earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”

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