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Prince Of Wales Launches Terra Carta Initiative To Put Nature At The Heart Of Big Business

11th January 2021

The Prince of Wales has today launched a 10-point pandemic recovery charter that challenges businesses to "put nature, people and the planet at the heart of global value creation" over the next decade, in a move backed by scores of major corporates high profile names such as including Unilever, BP, and BlackRock.

Dubbed the 'Terra Carta' in homage to the historic Magna Carta - the charter of basic rights agreed over 800 years ago - the 17-page framework sets out 100 broad actions for businesses to harness their resources and innovation to combat escalating global climate and biodiversity crises.

The charter "offers the basis of a recovery plan", according to the Prince, and commits backers to acknowledging the need for net zero emissions targets to be met by 2050 or sooner, alongside ambitious interim goals.

The charter aims to unlock the "catalytic potential" of consumer demand, drive investment into natural and clean tech solutions, and set out "ambitious but practical action" to build a sustainable future, according to the Sustainable Market Initiative (SMI), which was launched by the Prince last year.

It follows Prince Charles' call in September for a "Marshall-like plan for nature, people and the planet" in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and is based on a series of recommendations developed over the past year by global business leaders across industries in almost every sector.

Other initial supporters of the plan - which has been designed by former chief design officer at Apple Sir Jony Ive - include AstraZeneca, Bank of America, freuds, Refinitiv, Heathrow Airport, Coutts, IIGCC, Schroders, EY, Signify, and Drax Group, among others.

The announcement comes ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris later today, a largely virtual event hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron with speeches expected from the likes of UN Secretary-General Showing results for António Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The heir to Britain's throne is also due to appear at the summit, where he is expected to make an "urgent appeal" to private sector leaders around the world to lend their support to the Terra Carta in order to "bring prosperity into harmony with nature, people and planet over the coming decade".

"I can only encourage, in particular, those in industry and finance to provide practical leadership to this common project, as only they are able to mobilise the innovation, scale and resources that are required to transform our global economy," the Prince is expected to say later. "The Terra Carta offers the basis of a recovery plan that puts nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation - one that will harness the precious, irreplaceable power of nature combined with the transformative innovation and resources of the private sector."

The 10-point charter commits backers to rapidly accelerating "the world's transition towards a sustainable future", while recognising the importance of natural ecosystems and resources, as well as human health, wellbeing, prosperity, and local traditions and cultures.

One of the Terra Carta's key actions, initiated today, is the creation of a Natural Capital Investment Alliance to develop a "common language" for natural capital investing, with a target to drive $10bn of capital allocation in this direction by 2022. It also aims to expand the flow of natural capital investment through corporate offsetting and carbon pricing, and is being spearheaded by founding partners HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, Lombard Odier, and Mirova, according to the SMI.

Over the next 10 years, the SMI plans to update and report annually on progress against the Terra Carta in order to "reflect the rapid pace of change and continuous progress being achieved around the world".

Brian Moynihan, SMI co-chair and chairman and CEO Bank of America, described the charter as a "comprehensive roadmap for the private sector to help drive toward a sustainable future".

"By integrating sustainability into our operating models the private sector can marshal the resources that will be needed to reach the climate, biodiversity and development goals," he said. "HRH Prince of Wales's leadership and commitment has created a spirit of possibility that business leaders are proud to join."

The Terra Carta comes almost year after the Sustainable Markets Initiative was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and marks 50 years of environmental campaigning efforts from the Prince, who has long been a vocal advocate of more urgent climate action on the world stage.

In November, the Prince called on all major companies around the world to appoint "suitably empowered" chief sustainability officers to help embed environmental and climate change efforts into business strategies, arguing such roles are "increasingly central to market competitiveness".