Charles calls for action as he warns Cop26 is ‘last-chance saloon’

·3-min read

The Cop26 summit is the “last-chance saloon”, the Prince of Wales has warned, as he called for words to become actions to tackle the climate change crisis.

Charles told world leaders the future of humanity and nature is at stake as he addressed them ahead of the major conference.

The future king argued that now is the time to put aside differences and grasp what he described as a “unique opportunity” for a so-called green recovery in order to save the planet.

Speaking to the G20 summit in Rome on Sunday, he said: “Ladies and gentlemen, Cop26 begins in Glasgow tomorrow.

“Quite literally, it is the last-chance saloon. We must now translate fine words into still finer actions.

“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.”

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”, saying 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”.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The heir to the throne spoke of the “overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn”.

He added that after almost 50 years of his own efforts in trying to raise awareness of the growing crisis, “I am at last sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum”.

Charles will also deliver the opening address at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.

Following his speech to the G20, the royal met with bosses of some of the world’s biggest fashion brands to hear about their work to make the sector more sustainable.

Members of Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Fashion Taskforce include Burberry, Stella McCartney and Selfridges.

He was shown how a new digital ID works, using items including a Chloe poncho and Armani jacket which were scanned on a mobile phone to reveal their history, how they were designed, manufactured and transported to the shops.

During the event, in the gardens of the British Embassy, he told the fashion chief executives: “I’m so grateful to you all.”

In a statement, Charles said: “People have the right to know if what they buy is created sustainably and there is a responsibility to tell them if we truly believe in the shared principles of transparency, accountability and enforcement.

“Fashion is one of the most polluting sectors in the world but this new digital ID shows how business is committed to meaningful, measurable change: providing customers with the information they need to make cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable choices. It shows that business doesn’t just talk about these issues, but has taken action.”

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