Prince Harry says being a dad has made him even more passionate about protecting the environment.
In a conversation for the launch of WaterBear, a streaming platform focused on environmental content, the Duke of Sussex said thinking about his son Archie’s future makes the climate crisis feel even more urgent.
“The moment you become a father everything really does change, because then you start to realize: Well, what is the point in bringing a new person into this world when they get to your age and it’s on fire?” he said.
“We can’t steal their future. We really can’t. That’s not the role, that’s not the job we’re here for.”
Conservation has long been an important goal of Harry’s. When he and his wife Meghan Markle visited southern Africa last year, Harry’s stops included a visit to groups working to to stop deforestation in Botswana, and anti-poaching groups in Malawi.
In Botswana, he praised the work done by youth climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“This week, led by Greta, the world’s children are striking. There’s an emergency. It’s a race against time, and one which we are losing. Everyone know it. There’s no excuse for not knowing that,” he told reporters at the time.
In his WaterBear talk, Harry spoke with emotion when describing what Botswana means to him.
“I first travelled there when I was 12, 13 years old, after I lost my mom,” he said. “The sense of escapism and space that this continent of Africa afforded me is something I will be eternally grateful for.”
Nature is “our life force,” he said, and respecting it can hugely benefit us. “Being in nature is the most healing part of life,” he said. “I truly believe that’s one reason why it’s there.”
But he also touched on one experience in South Africa that he didn’t exactly love: dancing in public. Video surfaced of Harry and Meghan in Cape Town, at the beginning of their tour, dancing with locals. Meghan looks like a pretty natural dancer. Harry, less so.
“Dancing when all the cameras are there is my idea of hell,” he said, laughing. “I know that people are going to laugh at me.”
The whole conversation can be streamed for free on WaterBear’s site.