Climate change: King Charles should continue Queen Elizabeth’s efforts to urge the world to action – comment from a Scotsman

Some fear that the supposed “ingering prince” will continue to interfere in political affairs that should be the prerogative of our elected officials.

And, in a constitutional monarchy, kings and queens must walk a fine line. As heads of state, they are required to show some leadership, but they cannot be considered partisan either.

Queen Elizabeth navigated the potential pitfalls well, and many have rightly suggested that Charles should look to her reign as the model for his own.

However, there is one question, known to be dear to his heart, that he should not now put aside. Climate change was once a political divisive issue, but it is no longer. The science behind the risks posed by human-induced global warming demonstrates its clear and present danger.

And, for the most part, aside from the oil-rich despots, politicians on all sides understood that something had to be done. Some environmentalists and conservationists may disagree on how to achieve this, but their end goal is the same: the preservation of the stable climate that has allowed humanity to thrive for millennia.

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David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, has warned that 345 million people face acute food insecurity across 82 countries in a “global emergency of unprecedented scale” caused by rising conflict, the war in Ukraine, rising fuel prices, the ongoing economic effects of the Covid pandemic – and climate change. Floods, droughts and wildfires represent an increasing risk for much of the world.

King Charles should try to use his platform to encourage action on climate change (Photo: Victoria Jones/WPA pool/Getty Images)

Given the potentially existential threat and cross-party support to achieve net-zero emissions, King Charles should not hesitate to use his influence and platform, at home and abroad, to bring people together and galvanize the world. Indeed, it could give real meaning to his reign.

For anyone who thinks this would be a break from the traditions set by Queen Elizabeth, we remind them that when welcoming world leaders to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, she urged them “to recognize that the time for words has now passed to the time for action.” Our new king, we humbly suggest, should pursue his policy.

Teresa H. Sadler