COP26 is “the last chance saloon” to save the world from runaway climate change, Prince Charles warned world leaders in Rome on the sidelines of the gathering of the G20 group of industrialized nations. He believes it was the moment to begin a green-led economic turnaround.
“Quite literally, it is the last chance saloon. We must now translate fine words into still finer actions. And as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates people’s conversations, from newsrooms to living rooms, and as the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake, it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident, sustainable trajectory and thus, save our planet,” said Prince Charles.
He highlighted that the private sector is already there, eager to work and ready to play a hugely significant and game-changing role. “This is why I am so grateful to have this chance to talk to you here today, and to shine a light not just on how far we’ve come, but also on how far we still need to go.”
Prince Charles underlined the overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn. He said he detected a change in attitudes and the buildup of positive momentum. Charles said it would need trillions of dollars of investment every year to limit warming to the target maximum of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. “No government has those sorts of sums, which is why I have spent so much time over the past 19 months trying to form a global alliance amongst the private sector, as I have long believed it holds the ultimate key to the solutions we seek.”
As such, the champion of environmental causes told delegates there was an urgent need to explore how to develop a mechanism to provide sovereign risk guarantees that would help release the vast sums of money to make this public-private partnership a reality. “We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing. We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal.”
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a lack of progress in Glasgow could prompt very difficult geopolitical events, including mass migration and global competition for food and water.