There simply aren’t enough trees available at present; when pests and diseases are causing major losses of biodiversity, and when we are increasingly aware of the contribution that plants make to our quality of life, and can now make to a circular bioeconomy, we simply have to be more cautious, more vigilant and more demanding, very demanding, in tackling this major environmental risk.

I hope the centre will continue to inspire the next generation of automotive designers, engineers and researchers to innovate through collaborative research projects with manufacturers, suppliers and of course with academia. 

I visited SafeLives for the first time in 2016 and, as I have said on numerous occasions, that memorable day fired my interest in domestic abuse. I did know of people who had suffered from it, but I was both shocked, and horrified by just how many thousands of people across the world live with it.

During my recent visit to India in November, I had the great good fortune to meet some of the children who have benefitted from the $11 million Quality India Education Development Impact Bond. It was a great treat to meet these charming children on my birthday and wonderful to hear about the beneficial effects from the improved quality of education as a result of this initiative.

As we stand at the milestone of seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, it is natural to reflect on how far we have come and what society might have learned since those dreadful events.

Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common as opposed to what divides us. Indeed, as it says in Psalm 133 “behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”.

We must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence

The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.

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.

Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to. And just think for a moment – what good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from “business as usual”, if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?