King Charles attends Climate Action’s Guildhall launch of climate clock
King Charles and London mayor Sadiq Khan helped to launch a UK-wide campaign spearheaded by a Diss climate campaigner.
Mr Khan took on the duty of pressing the button which sparked nationwide digital displays of climate clocks to appear.
The clocks represent the six years and 24 days we have left to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, and avoid the worst effects that come with climate change.
Among the clocks displayed was a five-metre high clock in London’s historic Guildhall, where the launch was held at Climate Action’s Climate Innovation Forum.
Hannah Wright, from Diss, is a columnist for the Diss Express and the catalyst for the adverts.
“I work for Climate Action, and its founder, Nick Henry, rang me up to ask me to manage the project,” said the 48-year-old.
“There have been climate clocks in the past, but this campaign will be displayed on billboards in cities and train stations across the country.
“It was just me coming up with the ideas and designs; I’d never put together a national campaign before.
“I ended up sat in a den my son had built, on my laptop, working on ideas for the messaging and how to best get that across.
“I chose a black background, and the climate clock built in to the letter ‘O’ in the words tick tock and we have a renewable energy lifeline built in too, which shows the percentage of energy around the world being used that is renewable.
“We are in a war against climate change and we have six years and 24 days to make changes. We can get there, but we need everybody to act now.”
For more than five decades as Prince of Wales, the King has championed action for a sustainable future. Before the clock was activated, a short film was played, featuring speeches over the last 50 years by the King on the subject.
During a meeting joined by the King, discussions focused on accelerating the speed and scale of the green transition, while looking at how to rapidly finance, replicate and scale innovation.
The King also heard about what is needed between now and COP28 to mobilise private sectors on these issues.
Speaking at the event, Nick Henry, CEO and founder of Climate Action, said: “We are honoured to be joined by his majesty King Charles III at the Climate Innovation Forum for the national climate clock switch on, during London Climate Action Week.
“This powerful illustration of the scale of the climate emergency also reminds us there is still time to avert disaster.
“We need to align all actors – governments, cities, investors, businesses and civil society – to move at speed and at scale.
“It is vital that we embrace the pro-growth opportunity of the net zero transition and turn ambition into transformational action.”
The climate clock was switched on using a button made of plastic recovered from the ocean, which will later be recycled in to a plant pot and gifted to the King.
Billboards for the campaign, which will run throughout London Climate Action Week until Sunday, were donated by Ocean Outdoor and JCDecaux.
The Climate Innovation Forum was run by Climate Action in partnership with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
Held between COP27 and COP28, it aimed to shine a light on the pro-growth opportunities that net zero presents regionally, nationally and globally.
The net zero goal is a cornerstone of the world’s effort to adhere to the 1.5 degree limit to global warming outlined in the Paris Agreement in 2015 and signed by many of the world’s countries.