Here’s the moment Prince Charles shakes hands with Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg:
One of the more surprising Davos attendees is Mary Beard, the Cambridge classics professor.
She’s been talking about the role and representation of women in antiquity, and cited parallels with Prince Charles’s younger son:
“We have absolutely no idea what has gone on with Harry and Meghan and we will never know. But our press is absolutely convinced that the explanatory tool here is the female interloper.”
Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of Business in the Community charity, says Prince Charles’ speech highlights the “huge” gulf between words and actions over corporate responsibility.
“Our research shows that while nearly nine in 10 large companies have a purpose statement, which sets out their intentions to improve in areas such as health and wellbeing, the environment and corporate social responsibility, roughly eight in ten have not yet set clear targets about how to implement them.
“The challenge for companies in the 2020s is to implement the positive policies they have signed up to, and not just internally but through their entire supply chains.”
The charge of hypocrisy is never far away when the global elite start to lecture us all.
So here’s the Daily Mail’s take:
Charles took a private jet to Davos – which will produce 6 tonnes of carbon per passenger compared to 0.19 tonnes on a commercial flight – Charles jumped in an electric Jaguar at St Gallen airport to drive the two hours to the World Economic Forum, shunning a fuel-guzzling helicopter used by most VIPs.
I caught up with Jos Dijsselhof, the CEO of Swiss financial services company SIX, as Charles left the stage.
Dijsselhof says the Prince of Wales is obviously “personally very engaged” on this issue. And this year, he might get a good reception:
Now more than ever, people will listen.
Q: But will people actually act on sustainability and climate?
Dijsselhof says there’s more to do:
The truth is in the action, always, and I think we need to move a lot of things much faster.
Charles: Don’t go down in history for wrong reasons
Charles ends his speech by calling on the business leaders here in Davos to help.
Channelling Greta Thunberg (who we hear he’s meeting next), the Prince says:
Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink?
We need the private sector lead the world out of the calamity, he says, concluding:
“The only limit is our willingness to act and the time to act is now”.
at 11.14am EST
Nature is not a new asset class. It is the lifeblood of our markets, says Charles, as he tries to drum up support in the hall for his vision.
We must change our economy to mimic nature’s economy, and work with it, he says.
The prince reminds us that he has cared about this issue for a very long time (he was an early advocate for organic food, and his Poundbury estate is designed on sustainable principles)
Finally, we are ready to change our trajectory, Charles hopes.
He says he is going to be convening round tables. A lot. Covering issues including aviation, water, carbon capture and storage , shipping, plastics, renewable energy, fishing, cement, steel, and agriculture (i missed a few, sorry).
At the end of which I will probably be dead, Charles jokes.
Charles has some suggestions for business leaders to help deliver the bio-economy, and create new markets.
He says investors should heed the demand for green investments, which often outstrips supply, he says.
On aviation, he suggests hydrogen-powered planes could come to market within a decade
For shipping: greener engines could be introduced in a few years if manufacturers and regulators work together
Prince Of Wales’s plan for a sustainable economy
Charles has arrived at WEF with a 10-point plan to make the global economy more sustainable, and tackle the climate emergency.
1) We need to put nature and the protection of nature’s capital at the heart of how we operate.
2) We need responsible pathways to decarbonise to reach net zero. It is time for governments and businesses to set a clear plan for how they will decarbonise,
3) reimagine industries through the lens of sustainable market, circular bio-economy
4) Identify gamechangers and barriers — eg policies or regulations that need to change. Bringing the right people together to push change through — Charles says his new initiative can play a role here
5) remove perverse subsidies that prevent the economy becoming more sustainable.
The future King drifts close to fiscal policy here, calling for changes to “taxes, policies and regulations in a way that catalyses sustainable markets”.
Charles also cites the “Polluter pays” principle (under which companies which mess up the environment pick up the bill)
6) Invest in STEM and research and development, to help bring emerging technologies to market.
7) invest in nature as an economic driver.
8) Unified metrics to measure environmental, social and governance standards – to provide transparency to company’s supply chains
9) Make it easier for consumers to see which products are ethical and sustainable
10) Realign investing, so that it can support sustainability. There are trillions of dollars in pension funds, sovereign wealth funds looking for projects with long-term value and rate of return, Charles says – so they should be directed towards sustainable initiatives.
at 11.59am EST
Prince Charles says that after discussing sustainability with experts for decades, he understands that we need a new economic model (that sounds a bit radical!).
It’s not a lack of capital holding us back, but it’s how we deploy it, he says.
That’s why he’s launching the Sustainable Markets Initiative and Council.
Charles says new employment options, entirely new industries, will appear in future, and a sustainable approach will help us get there.
Prince Charles addresses WEF
It’s time to hear from Prince Charles now…. nearly 30 years since he last addressed Davos.
His Royal Highness takes the stage, saying he’s “Most touched” to be here on the 50th anniversary of the World Economic .
We are in the midst of a crisis which is now, he hopes, well understood.
Global warming and species loss is the greatest crisis which mankind has faced, and one it has largely caused itself.
Frankly it has been a bit of an uphill struggle pushing environmental issues and corporate responsibility, Charles says wryly. But now, it’s time to push on to the next level.
Al Gore also points out that “political will is itself a renewable resource”.
Al Gore: Climate emergency worse than you realise
Former US vice-president Al Gore is urging Davos delegates to act on the climate emergency.
The situation is much worse than people recognise, and getting worse much faster than people recognise, Gore warns.
He calls it a “challenge to our moral imagination”, comparing it to famous battles:
This is Thermopylae. This is Agincourt. This is Dunkirk. This is the Battle of the Bulge. This is 9/11.
And with that, Donald Trump, his entourage, and the White House press pack, have left Davos…after making quite a stir.
President Trump’s press conference ended with more discussion about impeachment.
He repeated laid into Adam Schiff, one of the impeachment managers, for ‘lying’ about the Ukraine phone call.
Trump also argues that Bill Clinton shouldn’t have been impeached.
And when asked whether he’ll attend the impeachment, Trump says he’d love to sit in the front row and stare at the “corrupt faces” conducting the probe (but doesn’t actually appear to be planning a visit).
But his highly critical comments about Europe may cause alarm….
at 7.26am EST