King Charles’s ‘dotty’ environmental views are now mainstream

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: PA</span>
Photograph: PA

King Charles III was 21 years old when he made his first landmark speech about the environment, on 19 February 1970 . He warned of the threats from plastic waste and chemicals dumped into rivers and seas, and air pollution from industry, vehicles and planes. He admits those views were seen as dotty at the time, although now they are mainstream.

Related: Reshape economy to fight climate crisis, says Prince Charles

And over the years since, the King has spoken out about the threats of climate change, as he outlined in an interview in the Royal Meteorological Society’s journal Weather in 2008. “Seasons are becoming earlier and growth patterns are altering. Disease-carrying insects are no longer being killed off over the winter. And on a global scale, weather patterns are changing, too.”

As King, royal protocols will mean that he will have to be far more restrained in speaking out about climate change, hinting in a speech on becoming the new sovereign that “it will not be possible for me to give as much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply”. But he will be able to speak privately to those in positions of power to urge more action on climate change.