Prince Charles praises Canada's 'wisdom' on climate change
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The Prince of Wales has been campaigning on the environment for 50 years, so he has rubbed shoulders with many of the world’s most prominent advocates on the subject. His most recent project is the Terra Carta, an ambitious economic recovery plan hoping to raise millions of sustainable investments. He is also said to be “encouraged” by the new US President’s prioritisation of environmental issues, after Mr Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Change Agreement in a string of executive orders just hours after his inauguration.
Charles wrote a letter to Mr Biden to congratulate him on his inauguration, in which he addressed the fight against climate change.
A royal source claimed Prince Charles was “full of admiration” for Mr Biden and his decision to take the US back into the Paris Accord.
They said: “The prince was hugely encouraged that one of the very first acts the new President undertook was to reinstate the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.
“The two men share the same indisputable view, that the global climate crisis is the biggest threat to humankind and needs to be dealt with utter urgency.”
John Kerry, who served in Barack Obama’s Cabinet with Mr Biden, is now the US Special Presidential Envoy for climate.
This appointment will be an additional boost to Charles’ perception of Mr Biden, because he has actually worked with Mr Kerry before.
The pair both attended The Economist World Ocean Summit in Half Moon Bay, California seven years ago.
The event aimed to tackle issues such as overfishing, pollution, coastal degradation and climate change, all issues that threaten people’s food security, homes, social stability and the loss of vital ecosystems.
The event drew hundreds of attendees including global leaders, conservationists, academics, philanthropists, the National Geographic Society and special interest groups ranging from shipping to BP, Chevron and Shell.
Branded the ‘Davos for the Ocean’, Mr Kerry and Prince Charles were two of the stars of the show, both urging for immediate action on ocean protection.
In his opening remarks, Mr Kerry told the room: “The challenge of meeting current problems in our ocean is one of the most complex global problems that we face today.”
He added: “Our oceans are in trouble. The good news is we know exactly what is happening in our ocean and we have a good understanding of what we need to do, though we don’t have the political will to do it.
“We’re going to have to build a very significant political effort around this issue.
“We have to summon global cooperation so that we can take the steps necessary to protect our oceans for generations to come.”
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Mr Kerry argued that governments around the world would not make the sweeping changes needed to protect the oceans without input from businesses, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media.
However, the American politician said the makeup of the room made him “excited about today”.
He said: “We need far more robust international dialogue on protecting our ocean.”
Mr Kerry also called for the protection of 10 percent of the ocean as marine wilderness reserves, and announced his own plan for a State Department meeting on the state of the ocean.
Prince Charles addressed the conference via video, highlighting in particular the dangers of overfishing.
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He asserted that the “issues of the ocean are paramount to our own”.
The royal added: “Oceans provide huge wealth and sustain a large part of our global economy.”
He highlighted that while “sustainability is well within our reach” and “sustainably managed fisheries are more profitable than unsustainable ones”, overall fish stocks were in decline.
Mr Kerry added that there were “too many fishermen chasing too few fish”, with almost a third of the world’s fish stocks overexploited while “most of the others are at maximum levels”.
He added that two thirds of the global catch are wasted as bycatch, with fishers inefficiently targeting other species.
Charles emphasised that to overcome the problem, upfront investment is needed to improve fishing fear, educate workers, improve access to world markets and provide meaningful certification programmes for sustainability.
Other royals and politicians in attendance included Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva of Portugal and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia.
Charles’ experience with Mr Kerry caring about the same issues as him will likely help promote cross-Atlantic cooperation on these important issues
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