The Queen has called for “fresh thinking” to help tackle climate change in a bid to “create a better, healthier future”.
Speaking ahead of the COP26 conference next month in Glasgow, she said the “eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom”.
And she added that as we emerge from the pandemic’s “uncertain times”, there was an opportunity for “hope and optimism”.
The Queen said: “[It] is a time for renewal and fresh thinking, providing an opportunity to look to the future and our future generations.
“There is a key role… with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future for us all, and to engage with the people they represent – especially our young people.”
COP26 is the United Nations’ annual conference on climate change.
The Queen was speaking at the opening of the Scottish Parliament.
In her first public mention of Prince Philip since his death in April, she reflected on their “deep and abiding affection” for Scotland and “many happy memories” of their times together there.
She went on: “It is often said it is the people that make a place. There are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we’ve seen in recent times. We all know of the difficult circumstances many have encountered during the last 18 months.
“Alongside this have been countless examples of resilience and goodwill.”
The Queen’s grandson, Prince William, echoes her green message in a BBC One documentary series starting tonight.
In The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet, he urges viewers to “create a different future for our children and grandchildren”, adding that “we can change the world” – but that we must act now.
The documentary follows the launch of Prince William’s environmental challenge, The Earthshot Prize, a year ago.
The films are a collaboration with Sir David Attenborough, who also narrates.
Each of the five episodes explores an area in which humans are destroying the planet, with examples from around the world of people working on innovative solutions to create more sustainable futures.
In the final part Prince William tells viewers starkly: “Those of us alive today have been handed the momentous task of deciding the future of humankind.
“If we continue on our current path the natural world will decline around us.
“But if we strive to find solutions we can create a different future… one in which the way we lead our lives works in harmony with the climate.”
■ Extinction Rebellion blockaded private Farnborough Airport, Hants, yesterday – including parking a stretch limo across the gates – claiming private flights by 1% of the world’s population are to blame for half of airlines’ global emissions.
- The Earthshot Prize, BBC One, tonight, 6.05pm. Also on iPlayer