Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

Environmentalist of the week: Prince Charles

Photo: Dan Marsh via Flickr

Whether he is urging world leaders to act, launching organic farming brands, or slamming “headless chicken” climate change deniers, Prince Charles has long been one of the UK’s most outspoken advocates of responsible environmental stewardship.

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With many environmental and charitable initiatives to his name, Prince Charles has done more than most to promote social justice and sustainability. 

The Prince’s Countryside Fund, for example, has given more than £3.8 million in grants to projects securing a sustainable future for Britain’s landscape and agriculture. 

The University of Cambridge’s world leading Business and Sustainability Programme also bears the future king’s name, having been shaped by the vision of its patron after the first Rio Earth Summit of 1992. Every year, the programme helps produce a new generation of sustainability-literate businesspeople.

In 2007, the prince took the bold step of including details of his own carbon footprint within his annual accounts, while introducing targets for reducing his household’s emissions. He has since encouraged businesses to clean up their act too and reduce their own emissions.

While using his position to draw public attention to crucial environmental issues, the price has earned both acclaim and scorn.

In a speech earlier this year, the prince admitted, “I have tended to make a habit of sticking my head above the parapet.” 

“Perhaps it has been too uncomfortable for those with vested interests to acknowledge, but we have spent the best part of the past century enthusiastically testing the world to utter destruction; not looking closely enough at the long-term impact our actions will have.” 

He was once mocked for telling a reporter that he spoke to the plants at his Highgrove country house, but perhaps we should all listen a little closer to the environmentalist prince.

Photo: Dan Marsh via Flickr

Further reading:

Environmentalist of the week: EF Schumacher

Environmentalist of the week: Sir David Attenborough

Environmentalist of the week: Rachel Carson

Prince Charles: we must act on climate change, ‘before it is too late’

Prince Charles: climate action ‘the only rational choice’

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