1/11 King Charles is the eco-warrior king! King Charles' focus on climate change has been a big part of his work for decades - passed down from his late father Prince Philip - and he gave his first speech on the issue in 1970, aged just 21, when he was known as Prince Charles. Although according to one biographer, his ideas were dismissed as "completely crackers", he is now thought to be the "first eco-king" as he continues to fight for the environment. Read on to find out more about our monarch's quest to combat climate change following (©BANG Showbiz) 2/11 Save Our Planet While addressing delegates at the Saving the Ozone Layer World Conference in 1989, Charles pointed out that ever since the industrial revolution of the 1800s, the environment has been impacted by human behaviour. He said: “Since the Industrial Revolution, human beings have been upsetting that balance [of nature], persistently choosing short-term options and to hell with the long-term repercussions.” And more than three decades later, various studies have claimed that that particular period of time did have an impact on the way lives are lived today. (©BANG Showbiz) 3/11 Save Our Forests In 2007, Charles set up the Prince's Rainforests Project and brought together environmentalists, scientists and leaders from the developing world all in an attempt to end deforestation. He said: “It is very simple: we must save our forests. Forests ate the world's air conditioning system - the lungs of the planet - and we are on the verge of switching off." More than 15 years later, the project works in tandem with the International Sustainability Unit, which was also created by the king in relation to international deforestation. As of 2020, its aim is to "maintain ecosystem resilience while achieving development goals." (©BANG Showbiz) 4/11 Green Movie His Royal Highness championed sustainability in his short film and reflected more than 20 years later that everything in it was still relevant. He said: “I made that film because of my personal and profound sense of unease, which even then dated back almost 20 years, about the way that we, as mankind, were treating the environment on which we all ultimately depend. “Since then, of course, every passing year has seen further evidence emerge of the damage we are doing to this poor old planet the only one we’ve got that sustains life in such a miraculous and well- ordered way.” (©BANG Showbiz) 5/11 War on Plastic The former Prince of Wales was considered "rather dotty" at the time he brought up the issue of plastic waste five decades ago. He said: “When you think that each person produces roughly two pounds of rubbish per day and there are 55 million of us on this island using non-returnable bottles and indestructible plastic containers, it is not difficult to imagine the mountains of refuse that we shall have to deal with somehow.” In 2018, he recalled: “I was considered rather dotty, to say the least, for even suggesting these things, rather like when I set up a reed-bed sewage treatment system at Highgrove all those years ago – that was considered completely mad.” (©BANG Showbiz) 6/11 Barking Up The Wrong Tree In 1986, the then-Prince revealed how he talked to plants to make them grow. Once ridiculed for his admission, naturist Sir David Attenborough vindicated the King by saying he wasn't barking up the wrong tree as we don't talk to plants enough. Charles said at the time: "I just come and talk to the plants, really. "Very important to talk to them, they respond. “I happily talk to plants and trees and listen to them. I think it’s absolutely crucial.” Years later, a producer of Sir David's show admitted that Charles "was ahead of the game". (©BANG Showbiz) 7/11 Wine Not In 2021, the King revealed that his beloved Aston Martin DB6 had been converted to run on surplus wine and cheese. He said: “My old Aston Martin, which I had for 51 years, that I managed to convert, that now runs on waste products. “Can you believe this; it runs on surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese processes. I did that quite a long time ago.” (©BANG Showbiz) 8/11 COP26 summit In 2021, the then-Prince Charles attended COP26 in place of his mother, who was too ill to attend. In his speech, he claimed that nature is our "best teacher." He said: “After billions of years of evolution, nature is our best teacher. “In this regard, restoring natural capital, accelerating nature-based solutions, and leveraging the circular bio-economy will be vital to our efforts.” At COP27, Charles had by that time acceded to the throne and was reportedly all poised to go but was said to be "personally disappointed" that he could not attend in the end as other arrangements were made for his first tour as King. (©BANG Showbiz) 9/11 'I fear we may be too late...' In 2008, then-Prince Charles feared it was "too late" to stop the melting of the ice caps and urged the population that we need to be "realistic" about our goals. He said: "We need to be realistic. There is very little we can do now to stop the ice from disappearing from the North Pole in the summer. And we probably cannot prevent the melting of the permafrost and the resulting release of methane. In addition, I fear that we may be too late to help the oceans maintain their ability to absorb carbon dioxide." However, seven years later when Donald Trump was running for president, shortly before his victory, he dismissed the efforts as being "all to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists." (©BANG Showbiz) 10/11 'The greatest threat to humanity...' In 2015, then-Prince Charles claimed that climate change was the "greatest threat" to humanity He said: "On an increasingly crowded planet, humanity faces many threats – but none is greater than climate change. It magnifies every hazard and tension of our existence." In 2022, the World Health Organisation claimed that climate change would be "catastrophic for all the world's ecosystems" and would cause 250,000 excess deaths by 2030. (©BANG Showbiz) 11/11 'We're wrecking our chances!' Before acceding to the throne, Charles remarked in 2013 that the world was "wrecking chances" for future generations He said: "We’re busily wrecking the chances for future generations at a rapid rate of knots by not recognizing the damage we’re doing to the natural environment, bearing in mind that this is the only planet that we know has any life on it." As King, Charles is expected to remain politically neutral but is hopeful that the UK's ties with Germany will help the country on its " urgent and vital journey towards net zero." (Avalon)
King Charles' focus on climate change has been a big part of his work for decades - passed down from his late father Prince Philip - and he gave his first speech on the issue in 1970, aged just 21, when he was known as Prince Charles. Although according to one biographer, his ideas were dismissed as "completely crackers", he is now thought to be the "first eco-king" as he continues to fight for the environment. Read on to find out more about our monarch's quest to combat climate change following his coronation.