Prince Charles launches environment project raising £7.5billion ‘to save planet’

Charles has spent months gathering a “coalition of the willing” he hopes will encourage others to get on board (Image: Getty Images)

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Prince Charles will today launch his most ambitious environmental project to date after 50 years of campaigning – creating a £7.5billion fund to save the planet from destruction.

The Prince of Wales will announce the scheme as part of the groundbreaking ‘Terra Carta’ agreement, aimed at convincing the world’s biggest companies to make ethical investments.

In a landmark speech at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the heir will appear on video link to reveal a plan for global organisations to put “Nature, People and Planet” at the heart of their business – while still contributing to the economy.

The aim is to this year raise $10billion (£7.5billion) for an investment fund in sustainable projects which will directly benefit the environment, known as ‘Natural Capital’.

Lifelong environmentalist Charles has spent months gathering a “coalition of the willing” he hopes will encourage others to get on board.

The Prince of Wales at the WaterAid charity's Water and Climate event in London
(Image: PA)

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He believes it will provide a basis for the world’s largest corporations to back environmental schemes, such as reforestation and biodiversity projects, while earning profits and contributing to solving the climate crisis.

Charles, 72, says the world needs to come together to safeguard our world for future generations, or risk it being destroyed forever.

Making a commitment to the Terra Carter – meaning Earth Charter – “will determine whether or not our children and grandchildren look back on a series of broken promises or, instead, reflect on a tipping point at which the world shifted to a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous trajectory”, he will say.

Devising its name from the historic Magna Carta, which inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people over 800 years ago, the Terra Carta “aims to reunite people and planet”.

Terra Carta, the Magna Carta-style charter launched by the Prince of Wales to encourage the private sector to safeguard the planet by adopting sustainability
(Image: PA)

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The Prince has told how he believes the coronavirus pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to repair side by side the natural world and our economies.

The Prince will say: “Sustainability is a choice. If we make it a part of our core values it will define our purpose, determine our choices and drive our actions.

“Whether as a business, an investor, an asset owner, or as a country, let us choose to make sustainability a core value so that, together, we can build the sustainable and prosperous future our children and grandchildren deserve.”

The project will for the first time provide a “roadmap for business”, outlining 10 areas for action, much like the Paris Agreement that in 2016 became a legally binding international treaty for governments to act on climate change.

Supporters include Bank of America, EY, AstraZeneca, Schroders and HSBC.

Heathrow Airport, Coutts, BP and Sir Jony Ive, the former chief design officer at Apple who has devised the 10-point action plan, have also signed up to be involved.

Today’s announcement will mark exactly a year since the Prince’s launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) at the World Economic Forum in Davos
(Image: PA)

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Today’s announcement will mark exactly a year since the Prince’s launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) at the World Economic Forum in Davos which also aims to bring together major players in the world of business and the environment.

In his “urgent appeal to leaders, from all sectors and from around the world”, the Prince says the agreement will “bring prosperity into harmony with Nature, People and Planet over the coming decade”.

He will add: “I can only encourage, in particular, those in industry and finance to provide practical leadership to this common project, as only they are able to mobilise the innovation, scale and resources that are required to transform our global economy.

“As we strive to imagine the next centuries of human progress, prioritising the fundamental rights and value of Nature will enable a step-change in our ‘future of industry’ and ‘future of economy’ approach.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that it is indeed possible to mobilise the necessary

resources and accelerate the timelines for transformative progress.

“It has also shown us how vital health is to human and economic well being.”

CEO of Bank of America who is co-chair of the SMI said: “The Terra Carta is a comprehensive roadmap for the private sector to help drive toward a sustainable future.

“HRH The Prince of Wales’s leadership and commitment has created a spirit of possibility that business leaders are proud to join.”

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