The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which wrapped up last week, gathered business leaders and political elites to discuss, among other things, the impact of climate change and what could possibly be done about it.
The three-day event saw appearances from high-profile climate activists, including 17-year-old Greta Thunberg, who gave a speech in which she scolded world leaders from not doing enough to tackle the problem.
FILE: Britain’s Prince Charles meets climate activist Greta Thunberg after he delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
(World Economic Forum via AP)
After the speech, Thunberg was photographed with the U.K.’s Prince Charles, a longtime climate activist who launched an initiative to encourage “rapid decarbonization.” Yet his travel habits appear to be at odds with his purported goal of reducing carbon emissions.
According to the British tabloid the Daily Express, the 71-year-old chartered multiple private flights this month for business, yet half of them had no passengers on board. The trips reportedly covered nearly 8,000 miles and emitted 75 tons of carbon.
But Charles is not the only one with ostensibly hypocritical practices on climate change. Here are four other climate activist celebrities who have not practiced what they preach:
Thom Yorke, the frontman behind the English rock band Radiohead, is known for his involvement in environmental causes. But his job, which involves touring by plane, seems to fly in the face of saving the planet.
In an interview with BBC in September 2019, the 51-year-old musician appeared to concede as such.
“The thing I’ve always struggled somewhat with is that if I’m campaigning on climate change, I’m someone who has to fly for my work, so, boom, I’m a hypocrite,” he said. “I totally agree I’m a hypocrite, but I’m trying to do something about it, and yes, you’re right, I’m a hypocrite.”
Leonardo DiCaprio is a well-known champion of the environment, having founded an organization dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. But the 45-year-old actor has also repeatedly drawn criticism for his use of a private jet to attend events.
Following an appearance at Global Citizen in New York in 2019, DiCaprio was widely mocked for his use of yachts and private planes.
“I would love to hear what he is saying but his enormous carbon footprint is blocking the speakers,” wrote one Twitter user in response to a Hollywood Reporter article.
Another user posted a picture of DiCaprio lounging on a yacht and wrote: “The sacrifices he makes for his beliefs!”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been slammed for their extensive use of private jets, despite their professed commitments to fighting global climate change.
The couple sparked outrage last summer after outlets reported that they had flown four private jets in just 11 days. It was later revealed that Elton John had paid for one of their flights to reserve their safety and privacy.
Britain’s Prince Harry attends the UK Africa Investment Summit in London, Monday Jan. 20, 2020.
(Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP)
Amid negative publicity, Harry conceded that “no one is perfect” but “we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact.”
“I spend 99 percent of my life traveling the world by commercial [flights],” the 34-year-old said during a speech in Amsterdam while promoting a new travel sustainability initiative. “Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family [is] safe.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 72-year-old actor and once-governor of California, has turned to climate change activism in recent years. He has also been outspoken in his criticism of President Trump, whom he slammed for being “wrong” on his views of climate change.
But in November 2019, Schwarzenegger was spotted in Santa Monica driving a Pinzgauer, a six-wheel military utility vehicle that gets 12 to 14 miles per gallon, though the actor later said he had modified it.
Page Six reported at the time that the vehicle ranges from $18,000 to a whopping $70,000.