The Prince of Wales speaks at Davos 2020

The Sustainable Markets Initiative and Council was established in 2019 to accelerate the global transition to sustainable markets and decarbonisation. As the world increasingly focuses on the climate and biodiversity crisis, the Initiative is calling on governments, businesses, investors and consumers to take the urgent and practical steps required to transition to more sustainable practices.

To facilitate and catalyze this effort, The Prince of Wales will be convening a series of global industry and sector roundtables throughout 2020 to focus on: advancing transition pathways; improving consumer awareness; increasing sustainability across supply chains; identifying game changers and barriers; focusing financing and investment; encouraging research and development into solutions; aligning metrics and standards; and encouraging the use of nature-based solutions.

 The Sustainable Markets Initiative seeks to bring together global efforts in these areas and is working to positively contribute to this year’s key international meetings such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda, the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly and COP26 in Glasgow.

Roundtable series

On 24th February 2020, The Sustainable Markets Initiative kickstarted by exploring breakthrough solutions to decarbonize air travel.

The Prince hosted senior representatives from airlines, airports, energy companies, aircraft manufactures, innovators and the financial community to design pathways to accelerate the energy transition of the aviation industry. 

Read more about the aviation roundtable

On 22nd January 2020, The Prince of Wales attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he delivered a keynote address on the topic of the Sustainable Markets Council.

The Council was launched with the support of the World Economic Forum and aims to accelerate a transition to sustainable markets while helping the global economy become more environmentally friendly.

His Royal Highness outlined 10 practical actions to drive the approach, including identifying game-changers and barriers to transition and investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and innovation. 


During the keynote speech, The Prince of Wales said:

Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink, in trying 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?

This is why I need your help, your ingenuity and your practical skills to ensure that the private sector leads the world out of the approaching catastrophe into which we have engineered ourselves.

Following the speech, His Royal Highness met with Swedish environmental campaigner, Greta Thunberg. The activist also addressed attendees on the theme of this year’s annual meeting, Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable Word.

 The Prince of Wales, who has long spoken about the importance of environmental action and highlighted sustainability, last attended the World Economic Forum in 1992.