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Constitution stops Charles becoming Britain’s ‘green’ king



LONDON – On a dazzling November day last year, Britain’s future king stood before world leaders to issue a rallying call that they should “act with all recklessness and decisive” to confront the common enemy.

The call apparently – in the vast, windowless hall of a Glasgow convention center at the opening of the United Nations climate conference – involved an issue that was of great concern to Prince Charles at the time. .

Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different from the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, he said. “In fact, they pose an even greater existential threat, to the point where we have to place ourselves in what could be called a war-like posture.”

He warned leaders that time was running out to reduce emissions, urging them to implement reforms aimed at “completely transforming our current fossil fuel-based economy to a truly renewable and sustainable”.

“We need a vast military-style campaign to direct the power of the global private sector,” he said, adding that the trillions handled by businesses will far exceed what other governments can afford. government can gather and offer “the only real prospect for achieving a transitional basic economy. “

It was a fierce call to arms quite unlike the gentle one that his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, made in a video message later that evening.

For decades, Charles has been one of Britain’s most prominent environmental voices, blowing away the evils of pollution. Now that he has become king, he must be more careful with his words and steer clear of politics and government policy in the tradition of Britain’s constitutional monarchy.

Robert Hazell, an expert on British constitutional affairs at University College London, said: “Charles will have very little freedom of maneuver when he is King.

“All of his speeches are written or edited by the government,” says Hazell. “If he makes an impromptu remark that appears to be contrary to government policy, the press will rush at him to point out the contradiction, and the government will restrain him; he’ll have to be much less outspoken than he used to be. “

However, many say it is unlikely that he will suddenly stop discussing climate change and the environment – especially since they are issues that lie above political ideology.

Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese said last week that the king’s support for climate action would be “completely acceptable”, even though his role is apolitical.

“What matters is the distance between the monarchy and party politics,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “But there are issues like climate change that I think if he chooses to continue making statements in that area, I think that’s completely acceptable.”

He added: “It has to be something beyond politics, it takes action on climate change.

Keeping mom on climate can be especially difficult for Charles because of the conflicting stance of the current Conservative government. While the government says it remains committed to its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by mid-century, Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg says Britain should keep burning fossil fuels at its disposal.

“We need to think about extracting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea,” he said in a recent radio interview.

In the past, Rees-Mogg has spoken out against building more wind farms on UK shores and questioned the impact that increasing carbon dioxide emissions are having on the climate, despite Experts say the warming impact of increasing CO2 levels is clear.

The new British Prime Minister Liz Truss also supports the exploitation of the country’s natural gas reserves, including the exploitation of fields in parts of the UK to boost gas supplies in the UK. countries and reduce dependence on international gas prices. Earlier this month, Truss’ government lifted a 2019 ban on controversial shale gas exploration in the UK.

As Environment Secretary in 2014, Truss called large-scale solar farms “a landscape devastation” that removed subsidies for farmers and landowners to build. build them.

Speaking in a 2018 BBC documentary marking Charles’ 70th birthday, his sons William and Harry revealed the frustration their father felt at the world’s failure to address environmental challenges. They recall as teenagers how Charles made them pick up trash on vacation and obsess about having to turn off the lights.

Small acts like these pale in comparison to the miles the king has earned during his lifetime of flying around the world – although he claims to have converted his Aston Martin to run on white wine and cheese. excess cool.

Charles lamented that many people “simply don’t pay attention to the science” of climate change was also pointed out by those who pointed out that he had long been a supporter of naturopathy. proven.

Some of Charles’ subjects want him to continue the fight against climate change, even as king.

However, the new king himself admits that his role as eco-warrior cannot last, at least in its present form.

“I’m not that stupid,” he told the BBC four years ago when asked if he would continue as active as before.

He explains that a prince’s battles are not that of a king, but makes it clear that they can still be fought by the next in line, Prince William.

In his first speech as sovereign to the country on September 9, Charles emphasized that “I will no longer be able to devote much of my time and energy to charities and issues that concern me deeply.”

“But I know this important work will continue in the trusted hands of others,” he added.

Like Charles, William, 40, has made climate change one of his main advocacy themes and last year he made his mark by presenting the first Earthshot Prize, a ” legacy project” that the prince set up to award millions of pounds of funding to environmental initiatives around the world over the next 10 years. His efforts, however, have been marred by criticism that his conservation charity has invested in a bank that is one of the largest suppliers of fossil fuels in the world.

Follow AP’s climate and environmental coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-enosystem

The Associated Press’s climate and environment coverage receives support from a number of private foundations. See more about AP .’s climate initiative here. AP is solely responsible for all content.



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