Prince of Wales leads charge in climate battle as PM picks him to host G7 meeting

·3-min read
Prince Charles will host a reception for G7 leaders and CEOs in Cornwall - Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Prince Charles will host a reception for G7 leaders and CEOs in Cornwall - Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

 

The Prince of Wales will host a reception for world leaders and CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies at the G7 summit in Cornwall, accompanied by his son, the Duke of Cambridge.

Prince Charles was personally asked by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to host the meeting focused on climate change, the Telegraph understands.

On Thursday afternoon, he held a reception with nine business leaders at St James’s Palace ahead of the summit.

The group were joined by John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, as they pinpointed critical areas of discussion before meeting world leaders in Cornwall on Friday.

They will push for new commitments from governments and “coordinated action” on climate change, believing that a signal of intent will be followed by financial investment.

The Prince hailed the G7 summit as a “game-changing opportunity” to help create a partnership between governments, business and private finance to finally tackle the “existential crisis” of climate change.

He added: “Unless we deploy private sector resource, innovation and finance more effectively, we just don’t stand a chance.”

The meeting included representatives from Bank of America, HSBC, NatWest, AstraZeneca, Heathrow Airport and fashion designer Stella McCartney, among others.

Watch: The Johnsons and Bidens meet ahead of G7 Summit

The group represents more than 300 global business leaders who have signed up to work with the Prince on a more sustainable future.

Finance and investment members of the "coalition of the willing" manage assets worth more than $60 trillion.

On Friday, the CEOs will meet the G7 leaders as part of the conference programme – the first such meeting held between government and global business leaders to discuss the acceleration of sustainable investment. 

Prince Charles is understood to be travelling to and from Cornwall by train, although Clarence House declined to confirm his plans for security reasons

The Duke’s involvement in the reception is indicative of the passion both father and son share on the environment.

Prince William is understood to be highly supportive of his father’s work on sustainability and his own big environmental initiative, the Earthshot Prize, works with some of the same private sector partners.

Prince Charles and Prince William will both attend the G7 meeting in Cornwall - Kensington Palace
Prince Charles and Prince William will both attend the G7 meeting in Cornwall - Kensington Palace

The Prince’s involvement comes five months after he unveiled his biggest environmental initiative to date, the Terra Carta, or Earth Charter, a ten-point recovery plan for the private sector.

The group recognises that notable change on the climate needs international agreement.

Individual countries introducing targets on banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, aeroplane fuel or sustainable fashion, for example, will not create the requisite shift in market forces.

The Prince and the CEOs will call for clear market signals that will help deliver a sustainable future.

The heir to the throne is likely to be invited to COP26, the UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow this autumn, to speak on the subject of the environment and climate change, issues he has been championing for decades.

Watch: Funny moment Jill Biden ushers President away in Cornwall