Europe

Queen signals support for Charles’s life-long efforts as she makes historic appearance

Queen seen speaking to world leaders at 1991 G7 reception

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The Queen is attending the two-week conference, it was announced last week. The official Twitter account for the United Nations event wrote: “We are pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will be attending #COP26.”

Alok Sharma, who will serve as the president of the COP26, wrote on the social media platform he was “delighted” at the news.

He said: “Absolutely delighted that Her Majesty the Queen will attend #COP26.”

The conference will see delegates, world leaders and activists from around the world gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss the climate crisis in light also of the devastating wildfires and floods experienced around the world.

The event was originally scheduled to take place last year – but was pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

During the conference, Prime Minister and host Boris Johnson is expected to push for nations to agree on cutting emissions to try to limit global warming to 1.5C compared to before industrialisation.

The Queen’s decision to attend the climate change conference comes as Her Majesty has become increasingly outspoken on environmental issues.

During her Royal Week at the beginning of July, the monarch made an extraordinary intervention on climate change.

While visiting the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute with Princess Anne, she spoke with experts from Climate XChange about the effects of tackling the climate crisis. 

She said: “It does mean we are going to have to change the way we do things really, in the end.”

In her Christmas address in 2019, the Queen also compared facing the war to protecting the climate.

Her Majesty said: “The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.”

The sovereign has rarely been so outspoken on the climate crisis and the environment.

On the other hand, Prince Charles, who is also expected to make an appearance during the conference, started voice his concerns for the environment more than five decades ago.

Earlier this month, he penned a comment piece urging businesses to go green to increase the chances to save the planet from a climate catastrophe.

In January, he launched Terra Carta, a charter aiming to unite business leaders around the world in a pledge to put sustainability at the heart of their work.

In February last year, he recalled how he had been considered “rather dotty” 50 years prior when he first issued a warning on the environment.

He said: “I was considered rather dotty, to say the least, for even suggesting these things, rather like when I set up a reed-bed sewage treatment system at Highgrove all those years ago – that was considered completely mad.”

Prince Charles followed in his father Prince Philip in his interest in nature and the environment.

Following his death in April, the late Duke of Edinburgh was praised by natural historian Sir David Attenborough for being “right there at the beginning” with his interest in conservation when it “didn’t mean much to many people”.

He added: “Even in the Sixties and Seventies, he saw it universally.”

Both Prince Harry and Prince William certainly appear to have picked up their father and grandfather’s interests.

The Duke of Cambridge has been the patron of conservation charity Tusk since 2005 and has often spoken against poaching.

Moreover, last year he launched the decade-long Earthshot Prize, which will award a total of £50million to those able to come up with workable solutions to increasingly worrying environmental issues.

Prince Harry has been the president of African Parks, which has the mission to protect the continent’s national parks and advance wildlife conservation, since 2017.

Moreover, he has publicly spoken about climate change and his concern for the future of earth on a number of occasions – including during an interview with primatologist Jane Goodall published on the issue of UK Vogue guest-edited by his wife Meghan.

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