The Prince of Wales gave the keynote speech from his Scottish home of Birkhall to kick off Climate Week NYC

By Simon Perry
September 21, 2020 02:52 PM
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Prince Charles
RE:TV

Prince Charles is voicing his decades-long held belief that the planet is in a crisis and that the effects of climate change will “dwarf the coronavirus pandemic.”

The royal gave the keynote speech on Monday to kick off Climate Week NYC, the largest climate summit this year. Speaking from his Birkhall home in Scotland, he said we should put on a “war-like footing” against the unfolding catastrophe.

He called for a Marshall-like plan for people and the planet – echoing the U.S.-backed initiative that helped Europe recover after WWII.

“Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to ‘reset’ for green-blue recovery and a more sustainable and inclusive future. In other words, the global pandemic is a wake-up call we cannot ignore," he said.

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The longtime environmentalist has been talking about the scourge of plastics, the increase in global warming and the destruction of natural livelihoods for more than 40 years.

“The environmental crisis has been with us for far too many years – decried, denigrated and denied. It is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic," he continued.

Charles has been staying at his Scottish home in recent weeks. His impassioned speech comes as he launches RE:TV, which, his office says, will see content "curated" by the prince to "champion inspiring solutions from around the world."

The channel follows his Sustainable Markets Initiative that he launched in January at Davos. Its goal is to harness the creativity, the innovation, the balance sheets and the efforts of organizations committed to Stakeholder Capitalism to help realize the prince's environmental vision.

Prince Charles
Clarence House

He concluded his speech by urging action and the “forming a global alliance to overcome the obstacles facing us."

Charles proceeded to outline “ten practical actions that will drive the sustainable markets approach,” highlighting the various ways to transition our ways to become more sustainable."

Prince Charles

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“Industries have obviously had to focus on dealing with the immediate impact of this horrendous pandemic, but the fascinating thing is I think a lot of people have still wanted fortunately to focus on the green recovery," Charles, 71, said.

“We’ve so degraded natural systems, eco-systems, bio-diversity, that it’s becoming increasingly impossible for nature to sustain us. At the moment it’s all take, take. Now we’ve reached the situation where we really need four planets like earth to survive or provide enough for everybody. And there is a better world out there. We can operate our industries far better."