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The urgency of his message was highlighted by the President of the Maldives, who told the politicians his island nation would disappear under rising sea levels unless they acted now to stop human-made climate change.
Mr Johnson hailed the power of the Commonwealth, whose 2.5 billion people account for a third of the world’s population, and reminded them that he had received an Indian-made AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
The Prime Minister said: “I’ve been the beneficiary of a Commonwealth vaccine, I want you to know. I am full to the gills of the Serum Institute of India’s vaccine. Very very good it turned out to be.”
Charles also invited to the meeting chief executives from some of the world’s biggest companies and asset managers willing to invest trillions of dollars in helping economies invest in technology that will cut their emissions of carbon dioxide causing global warming.
He urged the leaders to talk to the investors, who included executives from US financial services company State Street, which manages $3.15 trillion of assets around the world.
“For years and years I have tried - I suppose the last 40 years - to bring executives together and other people from around the world to try and raise awareness about the insides we are facing now. And they are so critical now,” Charles said.
Urging the leaders to use the meeting to talk to the investors, he said: “They are very keen to help with investment opportunities as far as your transition requirements are concerned.
“So I can only urge you while you are here, if I may say so to be to so bold, to engage with them because I really do believe it’s about the only way we are going to achieve the necessary targets that the PM and others have been talking about.”