Prince of Wales warns ‘no time to waste’ to address global climate and health crises
The Prince of Wales has told leading scientists that “there is really no time to waste” to address environmental and health crises and called for collaboration between science and industry to rapidly develop both nature and technology-based solutions. He said the world “desperately needs” the “ingenuity and innovative capacity” of scientists.
His Royal Highness gave the warning in a pre-recorded speech to open the Commonwealth Science Conference today (Monday 22 February 2021). The five-day event explores how science can help build resilience against global challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and pandemics.
The Prince of Wales said that “nature-based solutions are not alternatives to scaling up technologies” and “must not be forced to compete with each other”. He told delegates there was a need for “innovation, science, research and technology in every industry if we are to address climate change, transition our economy and achieve sustainability”. Also, that “today’s currency is the currency of ideas” and they could be turned into “an economic reality”.
His Royal Highness is known for his life-long commitment to the environment and has recently launched his own Sustainable Markets Initiative that brings the science and technology sectors together.
The conference, which is being held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, takes place ahead of this year’s G7 leaders’ summit, UN conferences on biodiversity and climate change and the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government. His Royal Highness called 2021 an “absolutely critical year for the environment” and that these “meetings will require strong scientific evidence on which to base [world leaders’] decisions” and urged scientists to “bring your expertise together so that it can deliver meaningful impact”.
His Royal Highness also acknowledged the critical role science has played in dealing with Covid-19. He said it “could not have served as a starker clarion call to the scientific community” to work for the “benefit of all humanity” and told scientists the “world desperately needs your ingenuity and innovative capacity”. Also, that the pandemic had “demonstrated that human health, economic health and planetary health are all fundamentally interconnected”.
The Prince of Wales is a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK’s academy of science, which is co-hosting the conference with the African Academy of Sciences.
A video of the Prince of Wales’s speech and highlights from the conference presentations by world-renowned scientists can be viewed on the Royal Society’s YouTube channel.
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For further information, images and video please contact Lucia Hadjiconstanti in the Royal Society’s press office at Lucia.Hadjiconstanti@royalsociety.org or call +44 20 7451 2508 or 07930 314 112 (office hours) and 07931 423 323 (out-of-office hours).
Notes to editors:
Use of the video or still image from the video of The Prince of Wales’s speech should be credited to Clarence House.
The conference is part of a wider programme, led by the Royal Society, to strengthen ties between scientists from across the Commonwealth. Previous conferences were held in Singapore in June 2017 and Bangalore in November 2014. The conference is funded via the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).
The Royal Society
The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.
For further information visit www.royalsociety.org.
The African Academy of Sciences
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation. The AAS’ vision is to transform lives on the African continent through science. Its tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through the AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies, and implementing key STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges through an agenda setting, funding and programme management platform, the alliance for accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), an initiative of the AAS, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and global partners. The Academy’s five strategic focus areas include: Environment and climate change; health and wellbeing; natural sciences; policy and governance; and social sciences and humanities.
Follow on Facebook.com/AASciences and Twitter @AASciences and learn more by visiting www.aasciences.africa.