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Prince Charles says private funds should finance green growth

By Philip Smith

Returns on sustainable projects are now better than those for fossil fuels, says heir to UK throne

Prince Charles says private funds should finance green growth

The Prince of Wales has called on the private sector to lead the way when it comes to investing for a sustainable economy.

The City of London, he said, needs to invest trillions of pounds into sustainable, but profitable, investment. The heir to the UK throne, a long-time champion of environmental and biodiversity issues, said the fight was now “more critical than ever” and that global capital markets must play a vital role in reversing the damage to the planet’s oceans, atmosphere and soil.

Big businesses and City investors, he added, must drive a rapid decarbonisation of the economy before the environmental crisis becomes “a total catastrophe”.

The driver behind Prince Charles’s call, he claimed, is that returns on sustainable projects are now better than those for fossil fuels and that green investment has “suddenly taken off.” The investment opportunities are manifold “whether it is regeneration, reforestation, sorting out fisheries and ocean issues to make them more sustainable, or agriculture and how to rebuild soil fertility because if you can get the soil fertility back, you can capture carbon much more quickly,” he said.

In September 2019 the Prince, with the World Economic Forum, set up the Sustainable Markets Council which brings together companies, governments and major financial institutions to “transform our market mechanisms to work for, not against, sustainability”.

He said it could provide the financial muscle to raise far bigger sums than have been possible in the past. “The money is now at last beginning to become available, particularly in the private sector which can now potentially be harnessed to drive real change.”

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