Friends assert that Charles’s stance on climate action will not change.

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By Creative Media News

Will King Charles III abandon his career in environmental advocacy?

As Prince of Wales, he spent decades campaigning, persuading, and convening summits to promote environmental protection.

As king, he is subject to different regulations; the monarch must maintain political neutrality.

However, according to his friends and advisors, he will not change his stance on global warming.

Could pushing action on global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss be a characteristic of a modern monarchy?

His interests have spanned from tropical forests to the depths of the ocean, from sustainable agricultural practices to water security. They began far before such concerns gained widespread attention.

Friends assert that charles's stance on climate action will not change.
Friends assert that charles's stance on climate action will not change.

Within months of his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, Prince Charles, then 20 years old, wrote to Prime Minister Harold Wilson expressing concern at the depletion of salmon runs in Scottish rivers. “People are notoriously myopic when it comes to animal issues,” he remarked.

He has increasingly concentrated on combating global warming, which he views as one of the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity. During his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow, he urged world leaders to work together to rescue the planet.

When I interviewed him before COP26, he stated, “It has taken far too long” for the international community to address the dangers of climate change. When I mentioned that world leaders would soon convene to discuss the climate situation, he replied, “But they only speak; the challenge is getting action.”

He even stated that he understood why some individuals felt compelled to take to the streets with groups such as Extinction Rebellion, stating that “people should truly realize how hopeless so many young people are.”

As for the risk of inaction, he was quite clear: “It will be a disaster. It will be catastrophic. It is already disastrous because nothing in nature can withstand the stress caused by these extreme weather conditions.”

The veteran environmentalist Tony Juniper describes the next king as “perhaps the most influential environmental figure in history.” Mr. Juniper, chairman of Natural England and longtime advisor to Prince Charles, has been praised for his “amazing depth” of knowledge and “absolutely massive” influence.

The question is whether Charles, as king, will continue to be so outspoken on these and other matters.

Jonathan Porritt, former head of Friends of the Earth and an ex-advisor to the incoming king, states, “Everything we know about how he has considered his succession tells us that he will be completely aware of his constitutional duties.

King Charles has stated the same thing. When asked in a 2018 interview if he would be a “meddling” king, he responded, “I am not that foolish” and dismissed as “nonsense” the notion that he would continue to lobby MPs.

Interconnector of individuals

He smiled when I asked him a year ago whether he believed the administration of then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson was doing enough to address the climate crisis. “I am incapable of commenting.”

And, this week, the new king recognized that he will “not be able to devote as much time and energy to the causes and organizations I care so deeply about.”

However, his interest in environmental issues will not abruptly vanish. The majority of his labor has already been accomplished out of the public eye.

His former press secretary, Julian Payne, remarked, “The King is a connector, bringing together people and organizations in a way that creates opportunities and answers.” Charles would gather “the smartest and most experienced individuals and listen to their suggestions and thoughts.”

Mr. Payne speculates that this mode of operation will continue as he assumes his new position.

Charles’ approach to problem-solving has resulted in several unanticipated ventures. Mr. Porritt notes his efforts to engage the accounting profession in combating climate change.

Mr. Porritt asserts that he realized the world will require methods for calculating emissions and evaluating the success of businesses. And in 2004, he established the Accounting for Sustainability Project to determine how this could be accomplished.

Terra Carta pledges

In recent years, he has endeavored to persuade the corporate community to take the initiative in combating climate change. More than 500 top executives, including the CEOs of some of the world’s largest financial institutions and corporations, have joined his Sustainable Markets Initiative.

They have signed his “Terra Carta” vows, vowing to “rapidly speed the transition to a sustainable future.”

In his opening remarks at COP26, Charles stated, “We need a massive military-style effort to rally the global business sector.

A top British politician informed me that he could envision Charles delivering a similar address as king. “You won’t hear him express an opinion on fracking,” he said, “but I could see him delivering a speech on the need for more immediate climate action.”

John Kerry, US President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, concurs. He has expressed his hope that Charles will continue to advocate for climate action.

Mr. Kerry told that “It’s about the survival of the planet. I can’t imagine him not feeling forced to use his vital position as the monarch to persuade the world to do the things it has to do.”

Ultimately, addressing climate change is a legal need for governments in the United Kingdom.

The Climate Change Act mandates that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to net zero by 2050.

All major parties concur that it is a top priority. Premier Liz Truss has already stated that her administration will “double down” on achieving the goal.

So, here’s a topic that King Charles III has likely previously pondered: how problematic is it for a British monarch to voice widespread support for something that is already incorporated into law?

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