Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announce Archewell Net-Zero Carbon Goal

"We know that we can all do better."

london, england march 09 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex meets children as she attends the commonwealth day service 2020 on march 09, 2020 in london, england photo by chris jacksongetty images
(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to make all of their business activities have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, they announced on their Archewell site this week. The pledge comes after royal family members Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles all attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference—COP26—in Scotland this month. Harry and Meghan were not in-person at COP26, but the goals set forth there clearly inspired them: “As global leaders convene for COP26 to commit to solutions for our climate crisis,” the statement began, “all of us at Archewell, led by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, share our pledge towards a more sustainable future by becoming net zero by 2030.”

Per the Archewell site, carbon emissions will be reduced in areas including “what we eat and how often we eat it; our transport and the frequency of it; our daily commute; our use of electricity/heating; our reliance on big industries that contribute to the problem.” They also posted a link to Net Zero Climate, an organization that offers solutions for everyday carbon reductions.

The Sussexes write that with an independent consultant, alongside Harry’s nonprofit Travalyst and their “sustainable investing platform” Ethic, they will make “a series of choices over time to make that footprint as small as possible, while compensating for any remaining emissions through high-quality carbon removal projects.”

The company says it joins its co-founders, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in committing to the net zero goal by 2030. “While we have actively made choices to offset and balance this carbon footprint, now, with the tools provided by partner organizations, we know that we can all do better.”

While there is some controversy over how effective monitoring individual "carbon footprints" are at actually mitigating global emissions—the term itself was coined by oil company British Petroleum to try to turn the focus of climate change toward individual choices, rather than the fact that just 100 companies are responsible for nearly three-fourths of the world's carbon emissions—the announcement is still a big turning point in the conversation. It shows that one of the world’s most powerful families is all-in on fighting climate change, and wants to lead in that space while also showing others how to follow their example. The Sussexes have enormous political power, and making a step like this shows that they are willing to use it for change.

The announcement also comes after Prince Harry and Meghan got into some hot water over the past year for taking seemingly unnecessary private jet trips (like Harry’s choice to fly private to and from a polo match). While “travel” broadly is featured on the list of sectors in which Archewell will curb emissions, how exactly the private jets will factor in is something that we’ll have to wait and see about as these changes are made.

Cady Drell

Cady Drell is a writer, editor, researcher and pet enthusiast from Brooklyn.