“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man”
~ Albert Einstein
STOP SACRIFICING NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT ON THE ALTAR OF ECONOMIC GROWTH – PRINCE CHARLES [AND FUTURE KING]
The Prince of Wales has called on the government to stop sacrificing the environment on the “altar” of economic growth.
At an event launching the Dasgupta Review, a Treasury report which recommended valuing nature as part of the UK’s financial wealth, Prince Charles said that “market and institutional failures” were to blame for the decline of the natural world.
“Now is surely the moment when we must see the world as it truly is and find the means to ensure the economy and ecology are viewed as one, rather than as now, where the latter is so often sacrificed upon the altar of the former,” he said.
He called for governments to “rewire our economic and financial models to incorporate climate and nature goals into economic, fiscal and budgetary policy.”
“Day by day, strand by strand, we are rapidly destroying the fabric of the natural world, for ourselves, and for our children and grandchildren, and testing this precious planet to destruction. It is sheer madness to continue on this path,” he added.
The Prince has been a long-term campaigner for environmental issues and last year launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which aims to push businesses and the financial system to act in the interests of the environment.
Last month he announced the Terra Carta, a plan of action for the private sector to help revive the natural world, and called for a $10bn (£7.3bn) investment in the environment within a year.
The report was also backed by BBC naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who wrote a foreword warning that “whole ecosystems will collapse” if action was not taken to rethink the economy.
At the report’s launch on Tuesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the report “knocked on the head” the idea that protecting the global economy and natural world were two incompatible goals.
“Far from existing in opposition, the economy and our ecology are in fact inseparably intertwined, two atoms in the same molecule,” he said.
The report, commissioned by the Treasury in 2019, calls for another metric to be used to measure the wealth of countries because reliance on GDP encourages short-term and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
Nations should measure their nature as part of their wealth, it argues, and an international system should be created to pay countries for protecting domestic natural assets like the Amazon rainforest, as well as penalising those who exploit communal resources such as oceans.
Its author, Cambridge University economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, said that the international cooperation that would be necessary could already been seen in systems such as air traffic control.
“There’s a huge amount of collective action, international action there about the rights of air spaces and so forth. The coordination problems have been solved. Keeping time, different time zones – those are coordination problems, and they had to be solved, and they have been solved.
“So I am optimistic in the sense that we have the intelligence, we have the goodwill, it’s a matter of coordination, and actually getting our act together.”