‘I am kept awake by climate failures’: Prince William reveals he gets upset over politicians’ failure to combat climate change
- Speaking to campaigners, Prince William, 38, said he doesn’t understand why ‘those who have the levers’ don’t do more to tackle climate change emergency
- Prince said pointing out ‘bad things’ was not always best way to achieve change
- William unveiled Earthshot Prize to help find solutions to environmental crisis
- The £50 million environmental award has been described as ‘green Nobel prize’
In a conversation with environmental campaigners, he said: ‘That is what I get most troubled about.
‘Especially as I’m in a position of responsibility if you like, or leadership. I feel I can do a lot more if given that ability.
Speaking to campaigners, Prince William, 38, said he doesn’t understand why ‘those who have the levers’ don’t do more to tackle climate change and their failure to act keeps him up at night
‘So therefore I don’t understand why those who have the levers, don’t. I think that’s what really upsets me and keeps me awake at night.’
William, who unveiled his £50million Earthshot Prize designed to find solutions to the environmental crisis earlier this month, said it was time to ‘stop talking’ and instead ‘take action on climate change’ as the science was ‘irrefutable’.
The prince, 38, told how he believed in optimism and said just pointing out ‘bad things’ was not always the best way to achieve change.
‘I have to say,’ he added, ‘when I was growing up I did feel that tackling things negatively was the way to go forwards and trying to sort of push people into doing stuff and saying listen, these are really bad things you need to change this. But actually, it doesn’t really work.’
While he acknowledged people should highlight things that are wrong and say people should change, he had found a positive approach worked better.
‘The message when I went to China and talked to the Chinese government about trying to tackle the illegal wildlife trade was very much a case of, how about you guys being the global leaders in conservation? You can take on that mantle and you can really drive it forwards,’ he said.
Prince William has launched most prestigious global environment prize in history, as the five challenges at heart of The Earthshot Prize are unveiled. Pictured, with Sir David Attenborough
‘And it’s a much easier conversation to have… where they can see what you’re getting at, they understand the consequences.’
He said the groundswell of opinion, particularly in younger generations, should be listened to, describing Greta Thunberg as ‘a particularly good advocate’.
‘If younger generations are up in arms about their future then I think the politicians and the political will should be there to listen and act,’ he added.
The prince made the comments to former UN boss Christiana Figueres and environmental campaigners Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson on the Outrage + Optimism podcast which will be broadcast today.