The Prince of Wales addresses EU’s Low Carbon Prosperity Summit

February 9th, 2011 by European Parliament

The Prince of Wales called on the public and private sectors to work together to secure both a stable economy and a stable environment.

Speaking at the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit in the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 February 2011, The Prince highlighted the growing risks posed to long-term economic growth by climate change and over-exploitation of the planet’s natural resources. The Prince argued that unless both the environment and the economy become more resilient to climatic shocks then it will be difficult to secure prosperity.

In his speech, The Prince said, “I cannot see how we can possibly maintain the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the long-term if we continue to consume our planet as voraciously as we are doing. We have to see that there is a direct relationship between the resilience of Nature’s ecosystems and the resilience of our national economies. And, let us not forget, it is on that resilience that our future prosperity depends.”

Prince Charles joins senior EU leaders at the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit (click image to expand - ©European Parliament)

He added that when the unsustainable depletion of natural resources is combined with natural disasters and other environmental shocks, there is a serious risk to food, energy, water and economic security. If a new, low-carbon model of economic growth is not found the world faces a “very rough ride indeed”, he warned.

However, His Royal Highness believes countries and businesses which adopt a low-carbon future will benefit from the exciting business opportunities and competitive advantage to be gained from changing their approach to growth.

The Prince’s proposals included valuing and supporting local communities, adopting policies that focus funding on strengthening diversity and promoting effective public/private partnerships.  Economic viability would “rely on sustainable asset management, more productive processing of waste, the construction of new, zero-carbon buildings and the retro-fitting of existing building stock” and also upon “achieving stringent energy efficiency targets for our buildings, cars and household goods.”  “Success will be in building low-carbon industries that provide not only substantial economic opportunity, but also a means to ensure Europe’s competitiveness.”

The Prince of Wales was in Brussels to address the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit at the European Parliament at the invitation of the President of the Parliament, Jerzy Buzek. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, also addressed the Summit.

Over 300 MEPs and economists including Lord Stern attend the summit together with business leaders from The Prince of Wales’s EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, the P8 Group of leading Pension Funds and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

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For more information about the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit please visit the European Parliament website.

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