Prince Charles has spoken out about his personal efforts to combat the climate crisis, which include pumping wine and cheese byproducts into his Aston Martin sports car and installing solar panels at his royal residence, Clarence House.
Speaking to the BBC about his carbon footprint ahead of a U.N. climate summit later this month, the heir to Britain’s throne said the vehicle, which he has owned for more than 50 years, runs on “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process.”
The royal’s car has been converted so that it runs on a biofuel known as E85 — which is blended from 85 percent bioethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline.
While this means the fuel is more sustainable, there are disadvantages to using the substitute, which is made from biomass such as sugar, wheat or corn. Vehicle engines need to be modified to be powered by the substance, and the need for biofuel crops means greater demands on forestland.
“On a large scale biofuels do more harm than good, driving deforestation and land use change that worsens the climate crisis,” Greg Archer, a director at a European clean transport group, told the Guardian newspaper.
Archer warned motorists not to mistake the future king’s method as “a serious solution to decarbonize vehicles.”
The prince has spent decades campaigning for a more sustainable future and earlier this year appealed to world leaders to come together to help fight the crisis.
“Let us join forces and waste no more time,” he urged during January’s One Planet Summit.
In the interview with the BBC, Charles said action to combat the climate emergency was taking “too long.” He added that he understood the frustration felt by young people because “they see their future being totally destroyed.”
“I totally understand the frustration,” he said. “The difficulty is how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive.”