UK's Prince Charles says coronavirus reset is a new chance for sustainability

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Charles said the recovery from the coronavirus crisis represented a “reset moment” for the world and was an opportunity to prioritise sustainability issues, as he made the opening remarks at a virtual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend the Commonwealth Reception at Marlborough House, in London, Britain March 9, 2020. Aaron Chown/Pool via REUTERS

The 71-year-old prince, who himself has recovered after suffering mild symptoms of COVID-19, has championed environmental causes for decades, warning that global warming and climate change were the greatest threats to humanity.

He said that rebuilding the world from the devastating impact of the “dreadful” coronavirus pandemic presented an opportunity for those environmental causes.

“We have a unique but rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to learn lessons and reset ourselves on a more sustainable path,” Charles told the WEF meeting on Wednesday.

He said that the pandemic, which due to lockdowns and restrictions has meant less industrial activity and travel, had showed people that dramatic change was possible.

“We have a golden opportunity to seize something good from this crisis. Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change,” he added.

His speech was part of a launch event for “The Great Reset”, a project involving the WEF and the Prince of Wales’s Sustainable Markets Initiative, aimed at rebuilding the economic and social system to be more sustainable.

Unlike the disease, there are solutions to climate change, Charles said, mentioning renewable energy and through putting nature back at the centre of how people live their lives.

Using social media and a virtual hubs network, the WEF’s Great Reset is aiming to involve young people across the world to help develop practical solutions and mobilise them to work towards a more sustainable way of life.

“I can only encourage us all to think big and act now,” said Charles.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison

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