Join the Independent Climate email list for up-to-date tips on how to help the environment.
Receive our complimentary Climate newsletter via email.
King Charles disregarded a controversy regarding racism within the royal family that could have overshadowed his speech at Cop28. Instead, he delivered a pressing message to global leaders: “We do not own the Earth, we are a part of it.”
Reiterating the message of The Independent to take action and combat the effects of climate change before it’s too late, he urged attendees at the Dubai eco-conference to collaborate in order to protect our planet for future generations.
“I hope that Cop28 will serve as a crucial turning point for taking real action,” Charles stated, disregarding the ongoing controversy surrounding racism after the publication of royal author Omid Scobie’s palace exposé, Endgame.
The controversy was sparked again after a Dutch version of the book named Charles and the Princess of Wales as the two highest-ranking members of the royal family who reportedly expressed “concerns” about the skin color of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son.
A supposed mistake in translation led to the sudden removal and destruction of Dutch versions from stores just before the deadline, with the names already being shared on social media.
Both the Sussexes and Buckingham Palace have not released any statements regarding the recent controversy, however, The Independent has learned that the palace is “exploring all possibilities”.
In his keynote address on the second day of the summit, Charles cautioned global leaders that immediate action was necessary to reduce the increasing impact on the most vulnerable individuals.
He expressed concern that countries were significantly deviating from important climate goals and warned that the consequences – such as wildfires in Europe, cyclones in island nations, and unprecedented floods in Asia – were no longer remote threats.
He stated that while there has been some advancement, there is still a need for significant action to bring about transformation. He spoke to leaders of both government and businesses from all over the world.
The rallying cry symbolizes a noteworthy accomplishment for a ruler who has devotedly battled in the frontlines of environmental activism.
Charles was the sole foreign leader who received an invitation to address the climate action summit, in honor of his lifelong contributions. He was also the one to launch the Cop26 conference in Glasgow in 2021 and the Cop21 conference in Paris in 2015.
However, the speech given this year coincided with the United Nations’ cautioning that the Earth is headed towards a disastrous 3C rise in average global temperature by the year 2100.
The monarch expressed his sincere hope that Cop28 will serve as a pivotal moment for real and meaningful change, especially in light of the dire warnings from scientists about reaching dangerous tipping points.
“Despite the heightened focus, the current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased by 30%, while methane has increased by nearly 40%.”
“Significant strides have been taken, but I am deeply concerned that we are still significantly deviating from our established path, as illustrated by the global stocktake report.”
Even though the message was clear, the King’s choice of a tie with a pattern of the Greek flag caused some surprise. Some people speculated that it was a reference to the recent conflict between the government and Athens over the Elgin marbles.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that the King’s father was born in Greece, Buckingham Palace insisted that the colors were chosen arbitrarily.
In the presence of global figures such as Emmanuel Macron of France, Narendra Modi of India, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the King stated that a significant amount of money will be necessary to bring about the necessary changes in all aspects of society to address the pressing issue of climate change. He also emphasized that relying solely on public funding will not be enough.
He stated: “By working together to protect our planet, the well-being of our people will naturally follow. The Earth is not ours to possess, but rather, we belong to the Earth.”
However, the speech was insufficient to silence the ongoing discussion about racism in our country.
Soon, Charles will go back to the UK to confront the escalating controversy caused by Mr Scobie’s book.
In 2021, an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey featuring Harry and Meghan sparked a controversy, as they claimed that an unnamed member of the royal family had expressed worries about the potential darkness of their child’s skin.
During the interview, Meghan revealed that someone from the royal family, excluding Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, expressed “concerns” about Archie’s skin color. However, she did not disclose their identity, explaining that it could have negative consequences for them.
Mr. Scobie has disregarded the matter and claims that the names were never added to his English version, despite rumors that it was a ploy to increase sales. He maintains that a thorough investigation is currently underway.
However, a royal commentator has stated that the monarchy has endured enduring harm to its reputation.
According to Joe Little from Majesty magazine, the accusations, whether they are accurate or not, will undoubtedly raise suspicion among those familiar with the individuals implicated. This can only be detrimental in every aspect.
“Once an element of doubt is present, it tends to linger and negatively affect both the people involved and the organization as a whole. The resulting damage to one’s reputation can be long-lasting.”
On the other hand, the second day of the meeting also witnessed:
The UAE has declared a $30 billion fund to support climate initiatives and encourage $250 billion in investments over the next ten years to address climate issues in developing nations.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva faced criticism following Brazil’s announcement to join the oil coalition, Opec+. This decision brought negative attention to the Cop27 hero.
During a global leaders’ day, the Israel-Hamas conflict caused increased tensions. King Abdullah of Jordan connected the ongoing war in Gaza to the climate crisis, while Israel’s president Isaac Herzog did not deliver his planned speech.
The United Arab Emirates, as the Cop28 presidency, has released a document advocating for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
Over 100 nations have agreed to a declaration calling for a more ambitious strategy to phase out the use of fossil fuels by the conclusion of the conference.