William: Combat climate change like world is fighting coronavirus

The Duke of Cambridge appears in a forthcoming ITV documentary charting his interest in tackling environmental threats to the world Victoria Jones/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The Duke of Cambridge has called for global action to tackle climate change just like the commitment shown in combating Covid-19 – in a documentary featuring his green-fingered children.

In the ITV film William gives viewers a glimpse of his lifelong environmental journey which has inspired him to launch his ambitious Earshot Prize this month to tackle the threat to the planet.

The duke also called for a balance in the farming world between growing crops and supporting wildlife, saying the land cannot be just for produce and “screw everything else”.

Separate pictures of Prince George and his younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are shown gardening during the film, among more than 10,000 backyard nature guardians across the country.

William says in the documentary due to be screened on Monday: “As we have seen from coronavirus, organisations have mobilised themselves, like something we’ve never seen before.

“The research collaboration that’s going on around the world, the sharing of expertise.

“The money found by governments to support people through this economic turmoil, these are big deals.

“If we can provide the same motivation with the environment, we have truly turned a corner.”

During the film the duke is pictured meeting the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough with his wife Kate, and chatting to children in person and via a video call who are trying to support the natural world in their communities.

William and Sir David have been working together on the duke’s Earthshot Prize, an ambitious global environment prize to combat climate issues.

William and Kate learned about the effects of climate change while visiting the Chiatibo glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range Credit: Neil Hall/PA

The duke takes the viewer on a tour of parts of the Queen’s Sandringham estate, an area he knows well, and documentary cameras join him on trips to Africa, a continent he describes as his “second home”.

In an area of the Norfolk estate, William highlights the practice of planting trees in fields of barley or wheat to provide a home for insects and invertebrates which are thought to act as natural predators to pests attacking the crops.

He said: “You can produce food and you can have an abundance of wildlife and invertebrates.

“And it’s something my father particularly is very keen on.

“And ideally that is where more of the country should go with farming.

“We can’t just say well, it’s all for growing crops and screw everything else.

“We’ve got to be mindful of that intrinsical balance.”

During the film a photograph is shown of George, aged seven, with a garden tool in his hand as he reaches for something in a raised bed.

The duke in Tanzania, it was during this trip to Africa he began to formulate his idea for an environmental prize Credit: Kensington Palace/PA

In another image five-year-old Charlotte holds a plant upside down as she removes it from a pot while wearing wellies and Louis, aged two, shown in the third photograph clutching a blue bucket and crouching as he looks intently at the ground.

William also speaks about the efforts of the younger generation, praising school-age environmentalists in the UK and highlighting the work of teenage activist Greta Thunberg, whose climate change campaigning sparked a global strike movement among millions of youngsters who have boycotted lessons.

He said: “What Greta’s done is really quite interesting.

“People were desperate for someone to come along.

“Thank goodness there’s somebody there with a young voice being active.”

Prince William: A Planet For Us All will be screened on ITV on Monday at 9pm.