June 26, 2007 / 2:13 PM / in 11 years

Prince Charles shows off smaller carbon footprint

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Charles disclosed his “carbon footprint” for the first time on Tuesday — and the crusading environmentalist showed it was getting smaller.

Britain's Prince Charles looks around a new eco-centre during a visit to the Roots and Shoots environmental and educational charity in south London on June 12, 2007. Prince Charles disclosed his "carbon footprint" for the first time on Tuesday -- and the crusading environmentalist showed it was getting smaller. REUTERS/Alastair Grant/Pool

The heir to the throne cut carbon emissions by 9 percent last year, leaving his household responsible for 3,425 tonnes of carbon dioxide output, according to the prince’s annual financial accounts.

He installed woodchip boilers at his residences, converted his Jaguar and Land Rover to run entirely on fuel made from used cooking oil and bought regional produce to save food miles, among a host of eco-friendly measures cited in the report.

“More work needs to be done with the household’s advisers to identify where further reductions can be achieved,” it read. “The household is confident that it can exceed the UK’s Kyoto target of reducing emissions by 12.5 percent between 2008-12.”

Charles, once mocked for admitting he talked to plants to make them grow, has pledged to offset emissions of gases blamed for global warming by investing in sustainable energy projects where reductions were not possible.

The prince’s household, which includes his London home and office, his residences in Scotland and Gloucestershire and his staff’s official activities, has been “carbon neutral” since 2005, according to the report.

But foreign trips were highlighted as a trouble spot for the prince, who was criticized this year for flying with a team of 20 to New York to pick up an award for his environmentalism.

“Overseas travel on behalf of the government is the biggest single contributor to the household’s carbon footprint,” it read.

Complex scheduling and security concerns require the use of a private aircraft and Charles covers great distances to visit foreign countries, a tour program determined by the government, not the prince himself, the report said.

The Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate which funds the prince’s public and private activities, reported an income of 15.17 million pounds ($30.33 million) in 2006/07, up 1.1 million pounds from the previous year.

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