Evening Standard Comment: Why Prince Charles is right on climate action

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Prince Charles does not have to worry about taking popular stances or winning elections in order to get the top job — he’s the next in line, that’s how it works. But his views on the Insulate Britain protests place him largely in line with public opinion.

Charles says he “totally understands” the frustration of those wishing to make a difference and prevent climate disaster, but that action such as blocking motorways “isn’t helpful”.

The Prince of Wales is no laggard when it comes to supporting environmental causes. He has for decades called for the protection of our natural world, to occasional sniggering from the cheap seats.

But he is right. We need to take urgent action on climate change. And while disruption is often the point of protest, Insulate Britain threatens to turn people off, just when we need them to be paying most attention, with Cop26 only weeks away.

It also allows those hostile to it to paint necessary climate action as part of the same chaos as blockaded motorways. Charles’s central point is that the time for talk is over.

Now we must act. The moment for lofty ambition must be turned into hard policy, on nationally determined contributions, carbon pricing and financial regulation.

The hard graft of saving the planet — and its inhabitants.

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