Prince Charles has called for “global solutions” to climate change, as he launches a campaign to encourage others to share their vision for a sustainable future.
Charles, 71, asked people to share their ideas for social, economic and environmental sustainability on the #ReimagineReset hashtag as he noted the ability of the Earth to repair itself while people stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He marked the 50th Earth Day with a passionate plea for more to be done to tackle the continuing climate problems.
Remarking on changes seen with people spending more time indoors and only making essential trips, the heir to the throne said: “Equally, the slowdown of human and industrial activity has shown just how quickly the Earth can heal itself when we let it.
“We need only look to the improved air quality in some of the world’s major cities and the return of wildlife to our communities and waterways.
“Air, water, soil and landscapes are vital to human health and well-being. Biodiversity, the incredible interconnectedness of plant, animal and insect life, which we are rapidly destroying, holds insights and solutions that we have yet to discover; it’s protection and genuinely sustainable management is vital to our survival as a human species.
“It is, therefore, increasingly clear that when we care for our planet we fundamentally care for ourselves.”
“To reflect and inspire the world to action, while aiming for a green recovery, I would ask you to join me by sharing your vision for a more sustainable future.”— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) April 22, 2020
The Prince now encourages you to share your sustainability ideas for the next fifty years using #ReimagineReset. pic.twitter.com/2X05CAFz9X
Charles also likened the Earth to a patient, saying that human action had weakened her immune system, and damaged her vital organs.
He added: “Rarely do we have the opportunity to pause, reflect and reset our trajectory. I would encourage us all to reimagine the world we want and use all the levers we have at our disposal, knowing that each and everyone one of us has a vital role to play.”
His message on Earth Day came soon after he wrote in Country Life magazine, to celebrate farmers working throughout the crisis, and saying “food does not happen by magic. If the past few weeks have proved anything, it is that we cannot take it for granted”.
Charles has previously pointed out the link between the response to coronavirus and that to the global emergency, saying in March that the world should react to both with the same urgency.
Just a few days before he ended up contracting COVID-19, he said: “The current battle against the coronavirus at least demonstrates, if nothing else, how quickly the world can mobilise when we identify a common threat.”
Earth Day also comes as it was confirmed 2019 was the hottest year on record for Europe.
Concern for the environment is no new thing for the Royal Family. Charles, 71, has been campaigning on environmental issues for more than five decades and he has passed on his passion to his sons.
Charles recalled his first speech on the problem with plastic waste earlier this year, remarking on being considered “rather dotty” at the time.
He was also one of the early adopters of organic farming, which he continues to use at his Home Farm in Highgrove.
Prince Harry has founded Travalyst, a sustainable travel project which looks to offset carbon and support communities which suffer damage from tourism.
Meghan paid a secret visit to feminist climate change group in Vancouver shortly after she and Harry announced they wanted to end royal duties.
He and Meghan have faced criticism for their use of private jets, most recently when they moved to California from Canada, before the border between the US and Canada closed.
Harry, 35, said he has done it to protect his family.
William and Kate launched the Earthshot prize at the beginning of 2020, after consulting with naturalist David Attenborough, to try to repair the damage done to the planet.
Prince William, 37, talked to his family before launching the prize, and he is hopeful that many of them will get involved with it, representing a shared concern for climate change.
He worked on it for more than a year before its launch, and has said he hopes it will focus attention on finding answers to big questions, like climate change, the oceans, and air pollution.
The Cambridges also frequently put climate change on the agenda on their tours. In Pakistan, they visited a melting glacier, and spoke to an expert. They travelled to community-led projects where people are coping with the changes to their environment.