Prince Charles of Wales has warned world leaders gathered at the G20 summit in Rome that they were having an “overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn” regarding climate issues, ahead of the COP 26 summit in Glasgow.
The heir to the British throne, who was invited to speak by Italy's prime minister, Mario Draghi, said “This is the last chance saloon” to save the planet. “Quite literally” so!
The Prince also told G20 leaders in Rome that “I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum.”
“It is impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you as the stewards of the planet, holding the viability of their future in your hands,” he added.
“We must now translate fine words into still finer actions and as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates people's conversations from newsrooms to living rooms. And as the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident sustainable trajectory and thus save our planet,” he went on.
Charles also told politicians that the private sector was “eager” to work with them and “ready to play a hugely significant and game-changing role.”
From that perspective, the Crown Prince insisted solutions to major issues “seem possible only if there is a much closer partnership between Government, the main multilateral banks, the private sector and its investors.”
Charles is due to welcome leaders to COP26 in Glasgow. The Queen was due to attend but has been advised to rest by her doctors.
The speech came after Charles joined Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joseph Biden and other world leaders at a gala dinner Saturday evening marking the end of a G20 summit.
The reception comes amid high tensions between Mr Johnson and Mr Macron as Britain and France continue to clash over post-Brexit fishing licences. The dispute also has ramifications into what is known as the AUSKUS case, a deal through which Australia was to purchase conventional submarines from France but was left undone due to diplomatic meddling.
Prince Charles was also to deliver one of the key speeches at the opening ceremony of the climate summit in Glasgow. Helping to welcome the world leaders, the prince will stress the urgency of dealing with the climate crisis, saying: We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.
He will urge world leaders to more actively engage with the business community to unlock the trillions of dollars that could help find solutions, saying: We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal.
The war-footing analogy is one the prince has used before as a call to action. Last year, during a video message for Climate Week NYC, he called for a Marshall-like plan for nature, people and the planet.
The Queen, in recent weeks, has expressed her frustrations, saying in the run-up to COP26 that she was irritated at leaders who talk but don't do.
Prince Charles has been a committed environmental campaigner for over 50 years.
It is only too clear that we will need trillions of dollars of investment every year to create the necessary new infrastructure and meet the vital 1.5-degree climate target that will save our forests and farms, our oceans and our wildlife,” he also said while in Rome.
No government has those sorts of sums - which is why I have spent so much time over the past 19 months trying to form a global alliance amongst the private sector, as I have long believed it holds the ultimate key to the solutions we seek.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is serving as host of the conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is expected to stress the urgency of acting, saying humanity has waited for too long. “If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow,” Johnson will say, according to excerpts released by his office.