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Charles to meet climate change activist Greta Thunberg at Davos

By Laura Elston, Tony Jones and Aine Fox, PA

The Prince of Wales is to meet teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg for the first time,  Clarence House has announced.

Charles will be introduced to the 17-year-old immediately following his speech in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

The prince, who has long been known for his environmental campaigning, will use his keynote address at the World Economic Forum to describe 2020 as the “‘super year’, kick-starting a decade of action for people and planet”.

He will add: “I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard.”

Charles arrived in Switzerland, travelling from St Gallen to Davos in a fully electric Jaguar I-Pace, rather than using a helicopter.

US President Donald Trump and Greta have clashed at the Forum over their views on the key theme of climate change.

The American leader used his speech at the forum to attack climate “prophets of doom” and snubbed their “predictions of the apocalypse” in favour of “optimism” for the future.

Soon after he spoke, Greta introduced a talk on “Averting a Climate Apocalypse”, in which she scolded the elites for not doing enough to deal with the climate crisis.

Charles will use his speech to highlight his ambitious project to help financial markets become more sustainable.

He hopes the Sustainable Markets Council 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.

The prince will stress 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.

The Prince of Wales is to deliver a keynote address in Davos (Victoria Jones/PA)

“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.”

His trip to Davos will be followed by his first official tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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.

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.

The Duke of Cambridge during his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City in 2018 (Tim Rooke/PA)

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.