"The planet's health today will dictate the health, happiness and economic prosperity of generations to come" - the Prince of Wales addresses G20 leaders in Rome
The future king told world leaders to step up their efforts in reducing global warming as they have an "overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn".
Speaking at a G20 summit in Rome on Sunday on the eve of the United Nations climate change meeting, the prince called on nations to agree to invest in greener economies when they meet in Glasgow next week.
"Ladies and gentlemen, COP26 begins in Glasgow tomorrow. Quite literally, it is the last chance saloon," the Prince of Wales told G20 leaders.
"We must now translate fine words into still finer actions.
"And as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates peoples’ conversations, from news rooms 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."
"It is impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you as the stewards of the planet"
Charles’ invitation to speak at G20 from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was in recognition of almost five decades he has dedicated to highlighting the growing environmental crisis that the planet faces as a result of climate change.
“I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum,” he added.
“But 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”.
Charles told the politicians that the private sector is “eager” to work with them and “ready to play a hugely significant and game-changing role”.
He said 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”.
"The planet's health today will dictate the health, happiness and economic prosperity of generations to come," added Charles.
"Hence our overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn."
After his speech, Charles attended a launch by leaders from the fashion industry of a new digital marker for sustainability.
Members of Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Fashion Taskforce will begin rolling out the virtual certificate that records each fashion item’s history; how it was designed, manufactured and transported to the shops.
The prince will be joined by members of his SMI, an organisation of more than 300 CEOs, which aims to unlock the commitment and potential of business to deliver solutions for the climate crisis.
The digital marker, which will be unveiled at the British Embassy in Rome, aims to allow key players in the fashion value chain, including manufacturers, brands, retailers, resellers and recyclers, to provide transparency and traceability of the products they sell.
Federico Marchetti, chair of the Fashion Taskforce, said: “This digital ID provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when they are making their purchases.
“In an industry that needs to do so much more to improve its impact on the environment, this is a huge step forward and only the beginning of the taskforce’s journey.”
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