Up to the youth to tackle climate change, says Harry

The Duke of Sussex has said he believes it is “up to the youth” to tackle climate change.

Harry made the comments as he celebrated 70 years of the Commonwealth at a garden party in London on Friday.

70th anniversary of the Commonwealth garden party
Rosette Muhoza, one of the winners of the Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards (Chris Jackson/PA)

The duke was chatting to Gemma Nelson, who works for the organisation ProGreen Samoa.

She said: “The duke said it was going to be up to the youth to make the difference on climate change.

70th anniversary of the Commonwealth garden party
Award-winner Wayne Neal, with Harry and Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Baroness Scotland (Chris Jackson/PA)

“He said when the problem gets too big, people like to pass the buck and he thinks that it’s because of the passion of youth that things will change.”

Ms Nelson, whose organisation tackles plastic pollution on the island nation, added: “A couple of years ago, climate change wasn’t even on the agenda, and [Harry] said the youth changed that.”

70th anniversary of the Commonwealth garden party
The Duke of Sussex mingled with guests at the garden party (Chris Jackson/PA)

At the Marlborough House reception, Harry also presented some of the winners of the inaugural Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards with their prizes.

The awards, introduced in the Commonwealth’s 70th year, celebrated the outstanding achievements by young people from the 53 Commonwealth nations.

70th anniversary of the Commonwealth garden party
The garden party celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth (Chris Jackson/PA)

Winners included Leilua Lino from Samoa, a victim of sexual violence, who has created a Peace Garden designed to support others who have experienced similar trauma.

The 18-year-old said as she collected her award: “When I was nine years old, my real father abused me. My mother did not help me when my father abused me.”

70th anniversary of the Commonwealth garden party
The Duke of Sussex presented some of the awards (Chris Jackson/PA)

Speaking through tears, Miss Lino continued: “Thank you all for your help.

“And I invite Prince Harry to come to Samoa.”

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