The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a number of events over the first days of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, highlighting both the urgent need for action and the individuals and groups who are already working towards a brighter future for our planet.
At the Evening Reception to mark the opening day of COP26, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were joined by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside the attending
Heads of State and Government. Her Majesty The Queen addressed the assembled delegates via a recorded message as part of the reception, as the Climate Change conference got underway.
Their Royal Highnesses earlier visited Alexandra Park Sports Hub in Dennistoun to meet with Scouts from across the area and learn more about the Scouts’ #PromiseToThePlanet campaign, through which millions of Scouts across the globe have been raising awareness of the consequences of climate change and encouraging individual as well as collective action to address it. Their Royal Highnesses also took part in activities helping to equip young people with the skills to tackle climate change, including practical bike maintenance and seed bombing.
The Duchess of Cambridge is Joint President of The Scout Association alongside The Duke of Kent.
Later, in what marked the first time that many of The Earthshot Prize Winners Finalists met each other, and Their Royal Highnesses, in person, The Prince of Wales joined The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to host a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards.
The following day, Prince William attended a meeting hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg, Global Adviser to The Earthshot Prize Winners and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, one of the Founding Partners of The Earthshot Prize, in the Green Zone of COP26. The event provided an opportunity for Prize Winners and Finalists to meet industry leaders and experts with a view towards supercharging and scaling their innovative solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
Concluding his time at COP26, Prince William and The Earthshot Prize Winners and Finalists featured at a key meeting of World Leaders taking place at the conference.
During the ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ plenary session, Prince William addressed the assembled world leaders to introduce the Winners and Finalists of the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards. His Royal Highness was joined on stage by 15-year-old India-based Vinisha Umashankar, the youngest Earthshot Prize Finalist.
Vinisha delivered a rousing speech that appealed to the assembled leaders to realise how it is her generation who will live to see the consequences of their actions. Speaking with an authority beyond her years, Vinisha told the audience that young people have “every right to be angry” but that she had “no time for anger. I want to act. I'm not just a girl from India. I'm a girl from Earth. And I'm proud to be so.
"I'm a student, innovator, environmentalist and entrepreneur but most importantly, I'm an optimist. Today I ask, with all due respect, that we stop talking and start doing".