Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made their first independent paycheck last week, earning a cool $1 million to attend JP Morgan Chase’s Alternative Investment Summit in Miami, Florida. The Duke reportedly spoke on a panel about the importance of financing initiatives tacking mental illness.
But the climate activist pair, who have often lectured everyday Britons and Americans about the importance of scaling back their consumption in order to effecitvely tackle climate change, are now taking heat of their own from critics who say they’re palling around with some of the main financiers of the fossil fuel industry.
The Rainforest Action Network claimed, in a recent report, that “the investment giant is said to have pumped about $67 billion into companies behind fracking, as well as Arctic oil and gas exploration” per the New York Post, challenging the eco-warriors’ position that climate change is such a global priority that people should stop traveling on planes and families should limit themselves to just two children. The Post’s Page Six also reports that “JP Morgan has provided more than $700bn of new investment for fossil fuel companies, most aggressively expanding in new coal, oil and gas projects.”
Mark Borkowski, a ‘PR expert” told British tabloid, the Sun, that the appearance was “not the best look” for the climate conscious prince.
“How they accept money, and from whom, is going to be a challenge going forward,” Borkowski said.
“They need to be careful,”a “royal commentator” added, in an interview with the paper. “If you preach, you should practice what you preach. When it comes to the rich and famous, there is an awful lot of hypocrisy over climate change.”
That’s been difficult for Harry and Meghan. After giving an extensive interview on the subject of climate change earlier this year, urging the use of commercial aircraft and calling climate change a “crisis,” the pair took off on a whirlwind vacation with their baby, Archie, traveling across Europe on private planes and staying at monster mansions, owned by the likes of Elton John.
Harry and Meghan now-famously broke ties with the royal family in January, announcing that they would leave full time royal duty for a private life in Canada, which they would self-finance. After negotiations, Queen Elizabeth agreed to allow the pair to renounce their titles and royal fortune. The pair are now seeking paychecks in the private sector so that they can maintain their royal lifestyle (their security is still being paid by both British and Canadian taxpayers, though, according to recent reports).
JP Morgan is not the only potential Sussex client that has fossil fuel ties. According to the New York Post, the Prince has also been in talks with Goldman Sachs to appear as part of that company’s “Talks at GS” speaker series. Goldman Sachs is also a high-profile investiment company with ties to the oil and gas industry, though they have, in recent years, pulled back, according to the Wall Street Journal, and are looking at major investiments in alternative energy.