CHARLES’ POWERFUL CLIMATE INTERVENTION
EXCLUSIVE: Dramatic and deeply personal climate intervention by Prince in Mail
‘Swallowed up by ferocious flames’
PRINCE Charles today makes his most powerful intervention to date in the fight against climate change, telling Britain’s business leaders they must help, or the planet is ‘done for’.
Drawing emotionally on his family connections to wildfire-racked Greece, the prince issues a robust challenge to big business to join his crusade for action ‘before it’s finally too late’.
The heir to the throne says that humanity’s ‘only hope’ is for business chiefs to join world leaders in an ‘epic battle’ to avert ‘climate catastrophe’.
Writing exclusively for the Daily Mail, the Prince of Wales declares that business ‘with its trillions of dollars’ has an ‘absolutely critical’ role to play. He says that unlocking this private sector investment could bring about a ‘gamechanging green transition’.
Using visceral and emotional language, Charles talks about the wildfires devastating his beloved Greece, saying the scenes have been ‘terrifying’ and ‘the stuff of nightmares’. He tells of his heartbreak at seeing the land where his father and grandfather were born being ‘swallowed up by ferocious flames’ and warns that ‘time is rapidly running out’.
‘We now have no alternative – we have to do all we possibly can in the short time left to us to avoid the enormous climate catastrophe that has already begun to show its face in the most terrifying ways,’ he writes.
He says there is time to address the crisis, ‘but only just’.
The prince wants leading companies to sign up to his ‘Terra Carta’, a charter that commits them to putting sustainability at the heart of all their business activities. More than 400 have so far, but Charles warns the crisis is ‘monumental’ and can be tackled only by big business and governments working together.
Warning that weather-related disasters should serve as a wake-up call, the prince writes: ‘We have been in the “last chance saloon” for too long already, so if we do not confront the monumental challenge head on - and fast - we and the world as we know it will be done for.’
Charles’s challenge to big business is a significant intervention from the heir to the throne. It comes in the wake of a stark report from the United Nations’ panel on climate change earlier this month which warned of unprecedented global warming and which was described as a ‘code red’ moment for humanity.
In the autumn, Britain will host COP26, the UN’s climate change conference, in Glasgow, which is seen as one of the last chances for major nations to agree an approach to prevent potentially catastrophic global heating.
Charles has long been ahead of his time in highlighting environmental issues – and the role that big business can play in helping to solve them. Last year, he launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos in a bid to accelerate global progress on sustainability.
The ‘Terra Carta’ is one of its flagship initiatives. It aims to provide a roadmap for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future by 2030.
Its concept is based on the 1215 Magna Carta, and aimed at holding major companies accountable for helping to protect the planet.
In today’s article for the Mail, the prince says we have been ‘testing our world to destrucfires tion’ and it is now up to all of us to get involved to combat climate change. He tells of his heartbreak at seeing the destruction caused by wildin Greece, a land to which he feels an emotional connection – the birthplace of his late father Prince Philip and paternal grandfather Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Charles made a significant private donation to the Hellenic Red Cross recently to help assist its humanitarian response to the residents of the fire-stricken areas in Greece. The donation was praised at the time by the president of the HRC.
‘Testing world to destruction’
TIME was when it was fashionable to mock the Prince of Wales for his impassioned views on the environment.
But with climate change all but irrefutable, he proved himself entirely prescient.
So when Charles commands business to go green, bosses should take note.
Writing in these pages, Charles highlights the ‘absolutely critical role’ firms, from oneman workshops to global corporations, can play in the fight against global warming – not only by reducing their own carbon footprint, but by using innovation to develop affordable green technologies.
The Government has outlined plans to change the way we heat our homes and make us drive eco-friendly cars.
But rather than the dead hand of the State imposing measures that risk landing households with punishing costs, Charles says the market is part of the solution.
We must all do our bit to save the planet. But business needs to be a driving force.