Climate change requires same urgency as pandemic, says Charles

The Prince of Wales addressed world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales urged G7 leaders to display the same sense of urgency in tackling climate change as they showed in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

At a reception with leaders including Boris Johnson and Joe Biden, Charles said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown what a “truly borderless crisis” looks like.

“Of course, we did not fully see Covid coming,” he said.

“Yet climate change and biodiversity loss represent a borderless crisis, the solutions to which have been argued about and postponed for far too long.”

He said the battle against the pandemic provided a “crystal-clear example of the scale, and sheer speed, at which the global community can tackle crises when we combine political will with business ingenuity and public mobilisation”.

Addressing the G7 leaders and a group of company bosses, the prince said: “We are doing it for the pandemic. So if you don’t mind me saying so, we must also do it for the planet.”

The prince has formed a group of more than 300 global business leaders to make a “coalition of the willing” in his Sustainable Markets Initiative.

He said there were three “powerful messages” from the business world: “First, industry and finance need clear market signals, standards and regulation in order to provide the essential conditions to enable them more rapidly to re-orientate their operations and make the required transition.

“Second, international financial institutions need better ways to leverage public funding, to catalyse private finance and mitigate risk.

“And third, a transformative outcome will require a pipeline of fully developed and genuinely sustainable projects, at sufficient scale and ready for investment.”

The prince’s speech came as three generations of the royal family mingled with G7 leaders at the Eden Project.

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also attended events as part of the summit.

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