Charles to launch sustainable markets project in visit to World Economic Forum

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The Prince of Wales has pledged to do his “utmost” to spread a message of sustainability and will call for consumers to be given clear information to help them make environmentally-friendly choices.

Charles is due to launch an ambitious project to help financial markets become more sustainable.

He will highlight his Sustainable Markets Council during a brief visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, before travelling to the Middle East for his first official tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The prince hopes the project will bring together leading individuals from the public and private sectors, charitable organisations and investors to identify ways to rapidly de-carbonise the global economy and make the transition to sustainable markets.

In a speech in the Swiss resort later on Wednesday, he is expected to say that being socially and environmentally responsible should be the cheapest option available to all.

“We cannot expect consumers to make sustainable choices if these choices are not clearly laid before them,” he will say.

“As consumers increasingly demand sustainable products, they deserve to be told more about product lifecycles, supply chains and production methods.

“For a transition to take place, being socially and environmentally conscious cannot only be for those who can afford it.

“If all the true costs are taken into account, being socially and environmentally responsible should be the least expensive option because it leaves the smallest footprint behind.”

Charles has vowed to use his platform to get the message out.

“With 2020 being seen as the ‘super year’, kick-starting a decade of action for people and planet, I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard,” he will say.

The ministerial jet Voyager is believed to be undergoing scheduled maintenance and the prince will be travelling to Switzerland and the Holy Land on a chartered plane.

World leaders and leading business figures have faced criticism in the past for flying to Davos by private jet.

Scott Furssedonn-Wood, Charles’s deputy private secretary, has said: “We always look at a range of options. We take a number of factors into account when we decide how to travel, we weigh up things like cost, of course, with environmental impact, as you’d expect, but also efficiency of time, size of delegation and, crucially, safety and security.”

He highlighted a number of trips, including the prince’s official visits to Japan and India, when he flew by commercial airlines, but for this tour, he said, scheduled flights did not satisfy all of their considerations.

Charles will make the two-hour car journey from the airport to Davos by electric vehicle, rather than helicopter, a Clarence House spokesman said.

The prince’s tour – the highest-level visit by a member of the royal family to Israel and Palestinian areas – will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Charles will deliver a speech at the World Holocaust Forum being staged at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, on Thursday, joining around 40 world leaders and other dignitaries.

He has been invited to the major event by Israel President Reuven Rivlin and will meet the statesman during his two-day visit, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has invited the prince to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

While in the Middle East, Charles will also visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ.

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