Constitution stops Charles becoming Britain’s ‘green’ king

LONDON — On a tumultuous day in November last year, Britain’s future king stood before world leaders and called on them to “do everything and act decisively” to confront a common enemy.

The clarion call in the sprawling hall of a Glasgow convention center at the opening of the United Nations climate conference was about an issue long dear to the heart of then-Prince Charles.

He said that climate change and loss of biodiversity is no different from the global COVID-19 pandemic. “In fact, they pose an even greater existential threat, to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what could be called a war-like basis.”

He warned leaders that time was running out to reduce emissions, urging them to push for reforms that would “transform our current fossil fuel-based economy into a truly renewable and sustainable economy.” are doing.”

“We need a massive military-style campaign to strengthen the power of the global private sector,” he said, adding that the trillions at the disposal of businesses would go far beyond what governments could raise and “fundamental presented the only real possibility of economic attainment. transition.”

It was a stark call to arms, in contrast to the gentle appeal given by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in a video message that evening.

For decades, Charles has been one of Britain’s most prominent environmental voices, blasting the evils of pollution. Now that he is king, he is obliged to be more careful with his words and should stay away from politics and government policy in line with the traditions of Britain’s constitutional monarchy.

“Charles will have much less freedom of maneuver now that he is king,” said Robert Hazell, an expert on British constitutional affairs at University College London.

“All of his speeches are written or vetted by the government,” Hazel said. Will give him reins. It will have to be much less obvious than in the past.”

Still, many say it’s unlikely he’ll suddenly stop discussing climate change and the environment — not least because they’re issues that transcend political ideology.

Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albany said last week that it would be “perfectly acceptable” for the monarch to advocate for climate action, although her role is to be apolitical.

“It is important that the monarchy distance itself from party political issues,” Albany told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But there are issues like climate change where I think if they choose to continue to make statements in that area, I think that’s perfectly acceptable.

“It has to be something that transcends politics, climate change needs to be acted upon,” he added.

It may be particularly difficult for Charles to stay silent on climate in light of the controversial stance of the current Conservative government. While the government says it is committed to its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by mid-century, Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg says Britain has the power to burn fossil fuels. Must continue.

“We need to think about getting every last cubic inch of gas out of the North Sea,” he said in a recent radio interview, referring to the need for energy security.

In the past Rees-Mogg has spoken out against building more on-shore wind farms in the UK and has questioned the impact that rising carbon dioxide emissions are having on the climate, although experts say The warming effects of rising CO2 levels are clear.

The UK’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, is similarly in favor of exploiting the country’s natural gas reserves, including in parts of the UK to boost the country’s domestic gas supply and reduce dependence on international gas prices. The exploration of fracking. Earlier this month, the Truss government lifted a 2019 ban on the controversial practice of fracking for shale gas in England.

As environment secretary in 2014, Truss described large-scale solar farms as “a blight on the landscape” by scrapping subsidies for farmers and landowners to build them.

Speaking in a 2018 BBC documentary to mark Charles’ 70th birthday, his sons William and Harry revealed the frustration their father felt at the world’s failure to tackle environmental challenges. . They recalled how as teenagers, Charles would make them pick up the rubbish during holidays and obsess over the need to turn off the lights.

Such small gestures pale in comparison to the air miles the monarch has jetted around the world throughout her life – although she claims she modified her Aston Martin to run on extra white wine and cheese. Is.

Charles’ lament that many people “just don’t pay attention to the science” on climate change has also been called out by those who point out that he has long been an advocate of unproven naturopathic treatments.

Some of Charles’s subjects want him to continue fighting climate change as king.

Yet the new king himself has admitted that his role as an environmental warrior cannot be sustained, at least in its current form.

“I’m not that stupid,” he told the BBC four years ago when asked if he would continue his activism.

She explained that the prince’s battles are not the king’s, but she clarified that they could still be fought with Prince William, next in line.

In his first address to the nation as sovereign on 9 September, Charles emphasized that “it will no longer be possible for me to devote so much of my time and energy to the charities and causes which I worry a lot.”

“But I know that this important work will go into the trusted hands of others,” he added.

Like Charles, William, 40, has made climate change one of his main advocacy topics, and last year made his mark by awarding the first EarthShot Prize, an ambitious “legacy project” founded by The Prince had set aside millions of pounds in grants for the environment. Worldwide initiatives in the next 10 years. However, his efforts have been undermined by criticism of his conservation charity. In a bank that is the world’s biggest backer of fossil fuels..

But follow AP’s climate and environment coverage.

Associated Press climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative Here. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *