The Prince of Wales today called on business leaders across the world to invest in green issues and sustainability as he launched a £7.3billion recovery plan to right a string of ‘broken promises’ over the environment.
Marking 50 years since he first began campaigning on green issues, Charles unveiled his ‘Terra Carta’, a pioneering multi-national agreement between some of the biggest firms in the world to put sustainability at the heart of the global post-pandemic recovery.
Charles urged business leaders to support his Earth Charter and ‘bring prosperity into harmony with nature, people and planet’ over the next decade.
He told delegate at the One Planet Summit in Paris: ‘I am making an urgent appeal to leaders, from all sectors and from around the world, to give their support to this Terra Carta, to bring prosperity into harmony with nature, people and planet over the coming decade.’
French president, Emmanuel Macron and the Chinese vice premier, Han Zheng, also addressed the summit today.
Charles’ project has been inspired by the Magna Carta, which defines fundamental rights and liberties.
Now, 805 years on, his ten-year ‘Earth Charter’ is designed to give ‘fundamental rights and values to Nature’.
The prince hopes it will put an end to decades of unfulfilled agreements on the environment and give ‘our children and grandchildren the future they deserve’.
He believes harnessing the private sector and big business is the way to do it.
The prince has spent the past year meeting world leaders from industry, government, philanthropy and technology to convene a ‘coalition of the willing’, who have vowed to bring sustainability ‘to the heart’ of their work.
Those that have signed up include Bank of America, AstraZeneca, Schroders, HSBC, Heathrow Airport, Coutts, BP and Sir Jony Ive, the British-born former chief design officer at Apple.
Charles launched his Terra Carta via video link at the One Planet Summit in Paris.
The heir to the throne told delegates: ‘Today, I am making an urgent appeal to leaders, from all sectors and from around the world, to join us in this endeavour, and to give their support to this Terra Carta – to bring prosperity into harmony with nature, people and planet over the coming decade.
‘I can only encourage, in particular, those in industry and finance to provide practical leadership to this common project, as only they are able to mobilise the innovation, scale and resources that are required to transform our global economy.’
He added: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, a sustainable future is, in fact, the growth story of our time – but it is up to us to seize the opportunity it presents.
‘It is my profound hope that the Terra Carta might help us to do just that.
‘Therefore, as we look to a brighter and more sustainable future, with our promises kept, let us join forces and waste no more time. With the clock ticking, it really is up to us to make each day count.’