Opinion: Climate change ‘bigger than politics’

Prince William with Sir David Attenborough at the 2020 launch of the Earthshot PrizePrince William with Sir David Attenborough at the 2020 launch of the Earthshot Prize
Prince William with Sir David Attenborough at the 2020 launch of the Earthshot Prize
When Prince William, Prince of Wales and David Attenborough launched the Earthshot Prize in 2020 it reinforced the importance attached to the well-being of the planet by our Royal Family, writes Barry Warne of the Peterborough Green Party.

Running for 10 years from 2020, five annual prizes of £1,000,000 will be granted globally for solutions which will have the biggest impact on Earthshot areas of focus. This will allow the recipients to continue with their environmental work.

The five areas of focus are, protecting and restoring nature, cleaning our air, reviving our oceans, building a waste free world and fixing our climate.

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When launching Earthshot the Prince said “Either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.”

“Remember the awe-inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we

have put a man on the moon. People can achieve great things.

“The next 10 years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth,” he said.

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The first winners were announced in 2021, and ranged from a scheme in Costa Rica where local citizens are paid to restore natural ecosystems with a view to reviving the rainforest, to "The city of Milan waste food hubs” in Italy.

William’s father King Charles III has rarely swerved opportunities to express his environmental concerns. As far back as 1970

Prince Charles described “the horrifying effects of pollution in all its cancerous forms” and highlighted problems caused by the mass use of indestructible plastic containers.

50 years later he made a speech at the World Economic Forum where he reflected: “I have dedicated much of my life to the restoration of harmony between humanity, Nature and the environment, and to the encouragement of corporate social and environmental responsibility.

“Quite frankly, it has been a bit of an uphill struggle.”

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The United Kingdom hosted COP 26 in 2021. Speaking in Glasgow the late Queen Elizabeth II said: “The time for words has now moved to the time for action.”

Speaking about the conference later it was reported that in a private conversation the Queen had said “It’s really

irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”

Recent sad events have reinforced the nation’s respect and love for The Royal Family, with everything pointing towards the throne being in safe hands for many years following the succession of Charles, and in due course William.

Such influential leaders who are respected world-wide have the ultimate platform to ensure these issues are front and centre of our thoughts.

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There are those who dismiss the idea of man made climate and environment change, and will accuse our monarchs of interfering in politics.

Surely strategies to slow down or even reverse the changes which are happening is a much bigger issue than simple “politics”?

Also it’s one of those relatively rare issues which cuts right across the political divide.