top of page

Daily Mail

'This is the last chance saloon': Prince Charles demands action on climate change as he warns world leaders they have an 'overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn' at the G20 in Rome ahead of Cop26 conference

by Rachael Bunyan and Katie Feehan For Mailonline, October 31, 2021


Photography by Aaron Christian

• Prince Charles warned G20 leaders that urgent action on climate change crucial
• Charles said it is 'impossible' not to hear the despairing voices of young people
• The Prince will also deliver the opening address at Cop26 on Sunday in Glasgow

The Prince of Wales has demanded action on climate change as he warned world leaders they have an 'overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn at the G20 summit in Rome on the eve of the Cop26 conference.

Prince Charles said the UN climate change conference which opens in Glasgow on Sunday is 'quite literally' the 'last chance saloon' to save the planet.
Charles, who was invited to speak by Italy's prime minister, Mario Draghi, will also deliver the opening address at Cop26.
Whilst recognising that urgent action on climate change is crucial, the prince told G20 leaders in Rome: 'I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum.'

The heir to the throne emphasised that the world leaders have an 'overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn'.

He told the G20 politicians: 'It is impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you as the stewards of the planet, holding the viability of their future in your hands'.

Charles added: 'Cop 26 begins in Glasgow on Sunday and quite literally it is the last chance saloon.
'We must now translate fine words into still finer actions and as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates people's conversations from newsrooms to living rooms.

'And as the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident sustainable trajectory and thus save our planet.'

Charles told the politicians that the private sector is 'eager' to work with them and 'ready to play a hugely significant and game-changing role', saying solutions to major issues 'seem possible only if there is a much closer partnership between Government, the main multilateral banks, the private sector and its investors'.

Charles' invitation is in recognition of decades spent highlighting the growing environmental crisis that the planet faces as a result of climate change.

On Monday, Charles is due to welcome leaders to COP26 in Glasgow. The Queen was due to attend but has been advised to rest by her doctors.

After his speech, Charles will attend the launch, by leaders from the fashion industry, of a new digital marker for sustainability.

Members of Charles' Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Fashion Taskforce will begin rolling out the virtual certificate that records each fashion item's history; how it was designed, manufactured and transported to the shops.

The prince will be joined by members of his SMI, an organisation of more than 300 CEOs, which aims to unlock the commitment and potential of business to deliver solutions for the climate crisis.

The digital marker, which will be unveiled at the British Embassy in Rome, aims to allow key players in the fashion value chain, including manufacturers, brands, retailers, resellers and recyclers, to provide transparency and traceability of the products they sell.

Federico Marchetti, chair of the Fashion Taskforce, said: 'This digital ID provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when they are making their purchases.

'In an industry that needs to do so much more to improve its impact on the environment, this is a huge step forward and only the beginning of the taskforce's journey.'

The speech comes after Charles joined Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and other world leaders at a gala dinner this evening marking the end of a G20 summit in Rome on Saturday night.

Sergio Mattarella - the Italian President - hosed the leaders at the 16th century Quirinale Palace in Rome where they feasted on salmon and sea bass - ahead of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow that kicks off tomorrow.
Pictures from the dinner showed the seating plan, with the Prince of Wales seen sitting on the bank of chairs to the left of the head of the table.

Mr Biden was seated next to the Italian President and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen - all at the head of the table with Mr Mattarella.

French President Emmanuel Macron meanwhile was seated next to Biden's wife Jill on one side, while Mr Johnson was in one of the far corners from where the Italian President was seated. Mr Johnson's wife - Carrie - was also in attendance.
Their dinner menu included marinated salmon, risotto with pumpkin and white truffle, and sea bass, with a tangerine cream dessert.

The reception comes amid high tensions between Mr Johnson and Mr Macron as Britain and France continue to clash over post-Brexit fishing licences.

Macron and Jill Biden's seating arrangement, however, suggests that the US and France have repaired the relationship damage done over a multi-billion-dollar submarine deal that infuriated the French.

Originally published in

bottom of page