Friday, 2 May 2008

Charles' plea to business chiefs

Charles' plea to business chiefs

The Press Association

The Prince of Wales called on Britain's business leaders to take "essential action" to make their firms more sustainable.

Charles made the impassioned plea to company bosses and Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a climate change conference and urged them to seize the "economic opportunities" that come from tackling global warming.

Speaking in central London to some of the country's leading chief executives, the Prince said: "What more can I do but urge you, this country's business leaders, to take the essential action now to make your businesses more sustainable. I'm exhausted with repeating that there really is no time to lose."

He added: "Of course, we also know that real economic opportunities can come from the new technologies, business models and financial instruments needed to combat climate change."
He went on to urge the delegates to take action before it was too late, telling them: "You would think, wouldn't you, that protecting the ultimate capital asset upon which all future income depends - in other words this fragile planet - was worth investing in, seriously and urgently?"

Charles' comments were made at his Prince's May Day Business Summit, now in its second year, which aims to encourage company bosses to take steps towards a low carbon economy by taking action within their own firms.

Charles reiterated his belief that the global issue required "unprecedented levels of urgent, collective action".

He highlighted that since last year's event he had established a Rainforest Project which aims to work with the private sector, governments and environmental experts to find solutions that can put in place by next year.

The Prince went on to praise the chief executive of Unilever, Patrick Cescau, who had earlier told the conference his company had set a target to procure 100% of its palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015.

The Prime Minister also made a speech to the delegates and outlined in detail the Government's policies on tackling climate change and his thoughts for the future on the day local elections are held across England and Wales.