The event, held in Davos, Switzerland, marked the first time the Prince of Wales met the Swedish climate activist

By Conchita Margaret Widjojo
January 22, 2020 02:55 PM
Advertisement

In addition to their climate activism, Prince Charles and Greta Thunberg found another trait they share in common when they met for the first time at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The two were introduced shortly after the Prince of Wales’ powerful speech at the event, held in Davos, Switzerland, in which he said a “paradigm shift” was required to change the way people are currently handling the looming climate change crisis.

After shaking hands and making their introductions, photographers began to rapidly snap pictures of their encounter.

“I guess you’re very used to this,” Thunberg can be heard saying to the prince.

“Very true. It’s taken me years to get used to this,” Charles, who rarely gets candid during royal outings, replied.

“I’m still not used to this,” the 17-year-old activist said.

During his address, Prince Charles, 71, introduced a Sustainable Markets Initiative, which will congregate charity chairpersons, private and public sector leaders and investors to collaborate “in accelerating the transition to sustainable markets and rapid decarbonization.”

Credit: Clarence House/Instagram

Then, he 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.

Clarence House uploaded photos of the prince’s meeting with Thunberg, who took on the stage herself on Tuesday, criticizing world leaders for doing “basically nothing” in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Credit: Clarence House/Instagram

“She’s remarkable, she represents one of the main reasons why I’ve been trying to make all this effort all these years,” Charles told CNN. “I’ve always worried about the fact that so often, in terms of humanity, we leave things too late so you have to hit a brick wall and experience a catastrophe before anything happens.”

The Prince of Wales, who drove approximately 80 miles from St. Gallen to Davos in a fully electric Jaguar I-Pace, has been actively involved in environmental issues for over 50 years, since he first made his speech regarding the topic back in 1968.

He called for 2020 “to be the year that we put ourselves on the right track.”

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

“Everything I have tried to do and urge, over the past fifty years has been done with our children and grandchildren in mind, because I did not want to be accused by them of doing nothing except prevaricate and deny the problem,” Prince Charles said. “Now of course, they are accusing us of exactly that.”

“Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done?” the prince said towards the end of his address. “I don’t want to.”