Thursday 17 October 2019

Dame Emma Thompson: I may well be hypocritical but now fly much less

The actress said she will continue to find ways to get to places without flying.

Dame Emma Thompson (Ian West/PA)
Dame Emma Thompson (Ian West/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Actress and climate change activist Dame Emma Thompson has addressed the backlash she has faced for flying, saying while she “may well be hypocritical” she now travels by air “much less”.

The star, 60, came under fire earlier this year for flying from Los Angeles to London to join Extinction Rebellion demonstrators in the capital.

Addressing the accusations of hypocrisy in an interview with ITV News’s Rageh Omaar, she said: “The message from Extinction Rebellion wasn’t that no one can fly, it was that for decades now we have been asking for clean energy and this has been ignored.

“I may well be hypocritical by flying but I’m conscious of flying so I fly much less, but sometimes I have to when I’m working.

“But I’ll continue to find ways to get to places without flying.”

Dame Emma Thompson addresses the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

During the interview, Dame Emma said young climate change activists have “made me feel so ashamed that we have let them down to such a degree”.

She urged world leaders to follow young people’s example, to “face facts” and accept we are now “inside climate change”.

She said: “They [Extinction Rebellion members] are willing to put themselves in danger, to get a criminal record, to upset their parents at a time when they should be enjoying their time at school or uni.

“To meet them, they made me feel so ashamed that we have let them down to such a degree that they were willing to turn their back on their own futures, everything we have been taught, jobs, families… they can’t think like that.

“[The] Government isn’t doing it and the only option is to protest.”

Discussing whether the planet has passed the point of no return, she said: “I think for many species and many parts of our planet we reached that a long time ago, it’s not helpful to think that point of no return is coming towards us, it’s better to face the facts that this is it, we’re in it, and everything depends on what we do now.”

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