|October 21, 2009|
Europe's Green Royalty: A Tale of Two Princes
|GLOBE-Net - Prince Charles of Wales and Prince Albert of Monaco are two "green knights" in the fight to protect the environment. |
These two members of royalty are using their stature to increase environmental awareness and to push for greener policies.
Charles - Prince of Wales
Of the two, Prince Charles was the first to champion the environmental cause -the first to be christened, "The Green Prince."He has more political clout too as the first in line to the British Throne.
Passionate about organic farming and sustainable development and curious about ways to improve the "built environment", the prince converted his Dutchy Home Farm to organic in 1986 and began talking about global warming in the early 1990s.
Yet, the British press oft portrayed the highly opinionated Prince Charles as an eccentric who "talked to his plants".He proved his seriousness though in 2006 when he brought together diverse and powerful groups like British Petroleum, Marks & Spencer, Parliament members and ecological enthusiasts to launch an eco-labeling project.
His idea was simple:If a can of soup lists calories, why can’t it also list the environmental costs of getting that can to market? The "Accounting for Sustainability" project helped Prince Charles earn the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2007.
Then Prime Minister Tony Blair presented the award, telling the audience that, "governments must lead…but, this is not just about government. It’s about companies and individuals. That’s why I’m so anxious to give my support to what the Prince is proposing today."
Prince Albert of Monaco
Prince Albert of the small principality of Monaco took up his green banner much more recently, but no less valiantly.
"At the second Earth Summit in 2002 in Johannesburg, that is when I really felt that there was a need to start doing more," said the Prince in an interview last week with EuroNews.
His commitment has been personal and energetic.He’s traveled to the Arctic and Antarctic poles, created a foundation in his name "totally devoted to environmental issues" and to being "an actor on the ground." He has also established a Foundation to promote environmental protection.
But Prince Albert’s deepest passion lies in the sea - the blue fin tuna."If we let this species go, he said in the same interview, "Well, that is a big gap in the marine eco-system of the Mediterranean and the southern part of the Atlantic and that has huge consequences on the food chain and on the entire eco system."
Prince Albert, who spoke at the World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver in March 2009, has also been lobbying hard for a global greenhouse gas emissions deal in Copenhagen, to be negotiated this December:
"We cannot afford not to have another text that will be the text of reference for carbon emissions, for quotas, for the next generation, so we have to find a compromise." Prince Albert of Monaco
Two Princes are better than one
When asked about whether or not the two Princes planned to join forces in the future, Prince Albert II admitted that the two were "studying the possibilities of collaborating", despite their busy schedules.
These Green Princes are helping the world understand that protecting the environment now is an indispensable first step to a better future for all.For More Information: princeofwales.gov.uk