Prince Charles said businesses must lead the way alongside governments in tackling the climate emergency.
Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall on Friday, he told a gathering of political and business leaders that liquidity and private sector know-how was essential and that businesses needed strong political signals from the government .
He said: “We have a potentially decisive opportunity to advance the partnerships between government, business and private sector finance which are absolutely vital if we are to win the battle to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss… unless we can really unlock the private sector. with industry resources and innovation, with the public sector setting the framework for incentives and regulation, we simply don’t stand a chance of solving this existential crisis that we have engineered over the years.
The prince met with John Kerry, the US climate envoy, in London on Thursday and also called a group of international business leaders, who will be invited to meet with G7 leaders on the climate crisis – a departure unusual for the G7 meeting, which is normally limited to heads of government of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy, as well as representatives of the EU.
Boris Johnson said: “Stopping climate change and reversing the loss of biodiversity will require all parts of our society and economy to come together, from shipping to aviation and banking. The private sector has a vital role to play in accelerating the shift to clean and green technologies and creating the jobs of the future, and I am delighted to see so many large companies coming together under the Prince of Wales initiative to support this effort.
“I will put the climate crisis at the center of the G7 summit in Cornwall this weekend as we work together to rebuild better and more environmentally after the pandemic.”
Charles has set up forums for companies from 10 key industries to work together on reducing carbon emissions. The sectors include energy, road transport, aviation and maritime transport, fashion and textiles, waste management, plastics and chemicals, technology and “natural capital”, which includes Agriculture.
Business leaders called on G7 governments to set clear policies to show how they would meet their long-term goals of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and sharply reducing emissions by 2030.
While all G7 countries have long-term goals and targets for 2030, few have the comprehensive and detailed policies needed to achieve them.
Brian Moynihan, Managing Director of Bank of America, said, “Only the private sector can mobilize the trillions of dollars of capital needed to drive the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future and achieve the net zero goals. The Terra Carta Transition Coalitions are an important next step to help boost sustainable finance. As CEO, we welcome the leadership of the G7 to help overcome obstacles and develop the right incentives to accelerate those results. “
Some of the industries involved will face great challenges in reducing emissions. John Holland-Kaye, Managing Director of Heathrow Airport, said: “Aviation is a global industry and requires collaboration through initiatives such as Terra Carta to reach a global agreement. We call for a commitment from the global aviation industry to achieve net zero by 2050 and governments to set a mandate for at least 10% sustainable aviation fuels use by 2030 and at least 50% d ‘by 2050 to give the necessary signal to the industry. to increase supply, and price incentives to stimulate demand and encourage investment.
Prince Charles has long had a keen interest in ecological issues, having given his first environmental speech more than 50 years ago. He set up a forum for companies to work on environmental sustainability, called the Sustainable Markets Initiative, and called for a Terra Carta, a roadmap for dealing with climate and biodiversity crises.
Last month, he wrote in The Guardian to urge small farmers to band together in cooperatives to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly farming methods.
Among the topics that business leaders will address at the G7, there are ways to increase investment in clean technologies and projects. Heads of government are not expected to come up with detailed plans or policies on reducing emissions, but to assert long-term goals.
They are under pressure to find more funding to help poor countries reduce their emissions and cope with the impacts of climate degradation, as well as provide access to Covid vaccines.