Charles tells world leaders: You have responsibility to generations yet unborn

·2-min read

The Prince of Wales will tell world leaders they have an “overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn” when he addresses the G20 summit in Rome on the eve of Cop26.

Charles, who has been invited to speak by Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, will also deliver the opening address at the UN climate change conference which opens on Sunday in Glasgow.

Whilst recognising that urgent action on climate change is crucial, the prince is expected to tell G20 leaders in Rome: “I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum.”

The heir to the throne will emphasise that the world leaders have an “overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn”.

Royal College of Music’s annual awards ceremony
The Prince of Wales will address world leaders at the G20 summit (Matt Dunham/PA)

He will go on to tell the G20 politicians: “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’ invitation is in recognition of decades spent highlighting the growing environmental crisis that the planet faces as a result of climate change.

After his speech, Charles will attend the 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.

Charles visits Lloyd’s of London
Charles will also attend the launch of a sustainable initiative for the fashion industry (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

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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