King becoming ‘frustrated old man’ over attitudes to climate emergency

The King has described how he is becoming “a frustrated old man” over attitudes to the global climate emergency.

A life-long environmentalist, Charles said the world must rely on the younger generation if we are to avert an environmental catastrophe in the next few years.

On a boat ride around Hamburg’s sprawling harbour to view a state of the art electrolyser site, which helps generate power, the King said the world must realise the need to move towards more sustainable practices.

Speaking to German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Charles said: “I’m becoming a frustrated old man. It all seems obvious to me.

King visit to Germany
The King visited the Port of Hamburg (Phil Noble/PA)

“The younger generation know, certainly.”

Alongside the King and Mr Steinmeier, the mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher, said a retired coal yard was now housing the revolutionary electrolyser and helping the city in its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

He said: “The benefit is, new technologies are developing at a rate, and new opportunities are being realised all the time.

“Hamburg will be a global leader in this, no question.”

The city of two million is seen as a leader in adopting green technologies, as Friederich Stuhrmann, chief executive of Port of Hamburg, told the King.

“Our position is unique. We have a large population, an appetite to change and find ourselves in a unique history.”

King visit to Germany
The King learned about the port’s adoption of green technologies (Phil Noble/PA)

Charles was shown an interactive screen on the top deck of the Rainer Abicht tour boat, detailing the five main sustainable growth sectors – hydrogen and wind power, sustainable port infrastructure, renewable generation asset development, research and development, and sustainable shipping.

The King listened intently, occasionally nodding in acknowledgement of the detail given by Mr Stuhrmann on how the hydrogen economy in northern Germany hopes to power millions of homes in the future.

Popping outside to the viewing deck half way through the 45-minute journey down the River Elbe, Charles pointed in the direction of the Dockland Pier, described as a smart port energy station with its shore power facility.

Installed in 2015 to reduce air pollution, the station enables vessels to link into the national grid rather than continue to run their engines on unrefined oil in harbour.

The port’s net zero ambition requires all terminals in the port to be carbon free by 2040.