The Prince of Wales has urged corporations to do a “great deal more” to tackle the “ever-increasing and alarming threat” of climate change.
Charles said big businesses have “no excuse” not to take immediate action to avoid “a number of truly terrifying and interconnected threats” in a speech on Thursday.
He told a summit of corporate lawyers in London “this really is the final call” and said there need not be a choice between profitability and “doing the right thing”.
Addressing the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association, he said: “We are engineering the rapid destruction of the natural world around us, on which we depend for our ultimate survival, along with many of the species with which we share this planet.
“I feel there is a great deal more that can, and must, be done.
“It does not need to be a choice between being profitable on the one hand, and doing the right thing on the other. Both are achievable.
“Ladies and gentlemen, all is not yet totally lost, but this really is the final call.”
Charles referenced a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the impacts of global warming of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
HRH The Prince of Wales spoke by video to ACC at the 2019 Global General Counsel Summit today, on behalf of @princesa4s.
“In-house counsel is uniquely placed to provide clear information to enable an effective response [to climate change].”
— Association of Corporate Counsel (@ACCinhouse) May 23, 2019
He went on: “The report makes it clear that we face a number of truly terrifying and interconnected threats, unless we take really urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1C or less, since even restraining it to 1.5C will have catastrophic effects.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I feel you really have no excuse not to act on global warming and climate change; the greatest threat multiplier of all.
“With four out of five of the global risks listed by the World Economic Forum for 2019 being environmental, these issues are only going to become vastly more important for your companies, to say nothing of humanity.
“And so there really is no time to lose.”
Charles was speaking on behalf of his Accounting for Sustainability project, a nonprofit founded in 2004.
It has partnered with the ACC to increase the role of corporate lawyers to advance environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices.