Charles to save planet via chartered jet

Feb. 13, 2009 at 3:48 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince Charles has scheduled an environmentally focused trip to South America, flying on a private jet with his wife and a staff of 14.

The 10-day trip will take the prince and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to Brazil, Chile and Ecuador. One of their stops is the Galapagos Islands, where they will participate in a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.

Ian Davidson, a Labor member of Parliament and member of the Public Accounts Committee, describes the trip as "financially and ecologically wasteful."

"It would be hard to make this up," Davidson said. "To hear that the Prince of Wales is flying to South America to save the environment and taking 14 staff on his jet at hideous cost just for this trip is the height of the absurd."

Prince Charles's office said that a chartered jet would be used because the tight schedule made commercial flights impractical and that the trip had been approved by the government.

The prince, whose Aston Martin has been converted to run on biofuel made from wine, has said he will offset the trip's carbon emissions.

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