The Prince of Wales has warned that the fight for a green recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is not for the faint-hearted, but achieving it would be the “growth story of our time”.
The heir to the throne called for action not words as he stressed the need to urgently transform economies to make them more sustainable.
In a keynote speech at the online Green Horizon Summit, Charles told how the Covid-19 outbreak had “brought unimaginable devastation to people’s lives, livelihoods and national economies”.
We are pleased to announce His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as opening keynote speaker to Day 2 of the Green Horizon Summit #GHS2020
— City of London (@cityoflondon) November 3, 2020
He said: “At the same time, the Green Recovery represents an unprecedented opportunity to rethink and reset the ways in which we live and do business.”
The prince added: “Achieving a sustainable future is the growth story of our time and can, in fact, fuel our post-pandemic recovery in a way that benefits people’s lives and livelihoods and nature’s own economy and pays dividends for decades to come. But the window for action is rapidly closing.”
The prince added he had long believed in the need to place nature and the world’s transition to net zero at the heart of business.
“Having been championing climate action now for the last 40 years, I can tell you that this isn’t a fight for the faint-hearted,” he said.
Charles has set up his Sustainable Markets Initiative in collaboration with the World Economic Forum to speed up an industry-wide transition to sustainable markets and rapid decarbonization.
He told delegates at the summit, which was hosted by the City of London Corporation and the Green Finance Institute: “I am afraid we are literally at the last hour and there is real urgency for action.
“We know now what we have to do to rescue the situation, rather than going on talking about it.”
The prince reiterated his Marshall-like plan for people, planet and nature, setting out 10 actions, including calling on businesses to report on and account for their “natural capital” and sustainability in their balance sheets.