Prince Charles said that he could understand the ‘frustration’ felt by climate campaigners
Prince Charles has said he can “totally understand” why climate protesters take to the streets but suggested blocking roads “isn’t helpful.”
In an interview with the BBC, the Prince of Wales sympathised with “frustration” felt by environmental activists and warned of the “catastrophic” impact global warming will have could have if action is not taken,
Speaking from the gardens of his house Birkhall in the Balmoral estate, Aberdeenshire, Charles said that it had taken the world “far too long” to realise the risks of climate change.
He went on to cite his concerns that world leaders would “just talk” when they meet in Glasgow next month for the Cop26 climate conference.
“The problem is to get action on the ground,” he said.
When asked if he sympathised with Greta Thunberg, he replied: “Of course I do, yes.
“All these young people feel nothing is ever happening so of course they’re going to get frustrated. I totally understand because nobody would listen and they see their future being totally destroyed.”
The prince went on to add that he understood why groups such as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion were protesting on the streets but said he didn’t think it was helpful.
Protestors from Extinction Rebellion and the group Insulate Britain have blocked roads including the M25, M1 and M4 as well as a number of major A roads into London over the past month.
But Charles said: “It isn’t helpful, I don’t think, to do it in a way that alienates people.
“So I totally understand the frustration, the difficulty is how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive.”
Asked if the UK government was doing enough to combat climate change, the royal responded: “I couldn’t possibly comment.”
His comments come weeks before the United Nations Climate Change conference, Cop26, is due to begin in Glasgow on 31 October.
The 12-day summit aims to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming to well below 2C with a goal of keeping it to 1.5C compared with pre-industrial levels.
The conference has been billed as crucial to delivering the goals of the Paris Accord which, when it was agreed in 2015, recognised countries needed to significantly increase action to cut greenhouse gases.
In the BBC interview, which took place in Prince George’s Wood, an arboretum Charles has planted for his grandson in the gardens of Birkhall, he also discussed his own efforts to reduce his carbon footprint.
“I haven’t eaten meat and fish on two days a week and I don’t eat dairy products on one day a week,” he said. “If more did that, you would reduce a lot of the pressure.”
He said he had converted his car, an Aston Martin he has owned for five decades, to run on what he described as “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”.
The vehicle now runs on a fuel blend made up of 85 per cent bioethanol and 15 per cent unleaded petrol.
Charles also said he has tried to heat the royal residences as sustainably as possible, using biomass boiler systems at Birkhall and installing solar panels at London’s Clarence House and on the farm buildings of Highgrove, his home in Gloucestershire.