The Prince of Wales will call on world leaders to capitalise on the “unique but narrow window” to put “planet and people first” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as he launches a “Great Reset” project.
The Prince is to co-host an event with the founder of the World Economic Forum to bring about a “green recovery”, encouraging businesses and politicians to ensure they “build back better” as they cope with the repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Prince, who has long advocated for climate change and the health of the planet to be placed at the heart of economies, will work with Klaus Schwab on the event, due to take place online on June 3rd.
It is intended to build on the “sustainable markets initiative”, launched by the Prince in Davos in January in a bid to “accelerate the global transition to sustainable markets and decarbonisation”.
As the world attempts to rebuild from coronavirus, organisers hope to persuade key figures that they must place an “environmentally sustainable future” at the heart of plans.
“No-one could have anticipated this horrific pandemic but one unmistakable positive consequence of it is that the environmental pollution that has been so hard to slow in recent decades has virtually ground to a halt in some key areas almost overnight, “ said a Sustainable Markets Initiative spokesman.
“Before industries simply return to the old ways of doing things, this group, led by the Prince and Professor Schwab, is setting out to show we have a chance to recover by doing things differently and with a lot less negative impact on the world we live in.”
Describing how it would build on his address to Davos earlier this year, the spokesman said the Prince had been working with Prof Schwab and global leaders since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic “to determine how Sustainable Markets can serve as a catalyst to ‘build back better’ and to create a more environmentally sustainable future”.
“The Prince believes that as countries and businesses around the world look to rebuild after this crisis, there is a unique but narrow window of opportunity to accelerate the sustainability agenda in a way that puts people and planet first,” he added.
“Today we see growing momentum around a ‘green recovery’.
“Recognising the vital importance of international cooperation to maximise the potential of this approach, ‘The Great Reset’ initiative is being launched by the Prince and Professor Schwab on 3rd June as a way to bring ideas, strategies and initiatives together from around the world for higher impact.”
The forum will take place online, as global travel restrictions and government advice prohibit leaders meeting in person.
Guests will include International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva and Bank of America President and CEO Brian Moynihan, according to website Axios.
The Prince, who has recovered from a mild dose of Covid-19 and is currently living at Birkhall, Scotland, has made the Sustainable Markets Initiative a key part of his work this year.
In March, one of his final public events before lockdown – a Water and Climate summit in London – covered the impact of climate change on access to safe drinking water.
In Davos, he spoke of the world being “in the midst of a crisis”, with “global warming, climate change, and the devastating loss of biodiversity… the greatest threats humanity has ever faced”.
“In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model,” he added.
“We simply cannot waste any more time – the only limit is our willingness to act, and the time to act is now.”