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of assuming that aquaculture will be able to fill the protein gap from the precipitous decline of wild fisheries.I suspect I may not be alone in thinking it strange, tosay the least, that, globally, despite subsidies in theregion of US$16 billion of public money every year, weappear to be close to bringing the fishing industry to itsknees. It is worth recognising that the fishing industrycontributes over US$200 billion a year to global GDP,but may not be able to do so for much longer. But here,in the midst of such a big problem, lies a potentialsolution which could be of use to the other sectoralchallenges we face. Research into the state and futureof the North East Atlantic Bluefin Tuna fisheryestimates that subsidies of around US$120 millionreturn an annual profit of only around US$70 million.The research found that a sustainable future for thefishery, even without subsidies, could produce annualprofits of US$310 million per year, if tuna stocks couldrecover to a sustainable level. The World Bank's ownestimates suggest that if we were to eradicate theperverse subsidies which currently exist, curboverfishing and improve ineffective management, then the global fishing industry could contributeUS$250 billion per year to global GDP, and on asustainable basis. This offers at least hope of a long-term cure, rather than a short-term form of relief andone from which the vast majority of stakeholders wouldbenefit. I know it would require difficult decisions andeven more difficult implementation measures. But, ifwe lift our eyes from the "here and now" and look tothe future, I wonder if we really have any alternative?I hope you can see my point. Essentially, we have to domore today to avert the catastrophes of tomorrow, andwe can only do that by changing the way we frame ourapproach to the economic problems that confront us.If we are to make our agricultural and marine systemsresilient in the long-term, for instance, we have todesign policies in every sector that bring the true costsof environmental destruction and the depletion ofnatural capital to the fore. Having looked at theseissues for very nearly thirty years and, being fortunateenough to have consulted some of the world's mosteminent experts, I wonder if I might just share with youa couple of observations about how it seems to me, atleast, it might be possible to do this? I would certainlysuggest that social and economic stability is built onvaluing and supporting local communities and theirtraditions, recognising as does the Report from theInternational Assessment for Agriculture Knowledge,Science and Technology for Development, recognisingthe contribution which, for example, diverse farmingsystems make to economic and ecosystem resilience.Policies that encourage diverse landscapes,communities and products can generate all sorts of positive results, not just in agriculture, but intourism, forestry and industry. So, there is a need forpolicies that focus funding on strengthening diversity.Might there be, perhaps, benefit in public financebeing more specifically directed using "smartsubsidies?" The aim would be to target a diversity ofproduction in more specific ways while protectingpublic goods. This is vital if we are to strengthen theresilience of our agriculture, marine and energysystems so that they can ensure supply and thuswithstand those sudden shocks on internationalmarkets which are bound to come our way, given theimpact of climate change.I would also suggest we need a different approach toprofit and loss which would support Corporate SocialEnvironmental and Economic Responsibility and giveus the means to evaluate the impact of our actionsproperly. This was, incidentally, what drove me to setup my Accounting for Sustainability project six yearsago. The aim was to develop a new approach tobusiness reporting which reflects the interconnectedimpact of financial, environmental and social elementson an organisation's long-term performance. And, Imust say, I am delighted that an increasing number oforganisations - including the British Government andinternational groups like EDF Energy, HSBC and Aviva- are adopting this system of "Integrated Reporting."In fact, last year I expanded the project by launchingan international group, supported by many of theworld's accounting and standard-setting bodies, as050SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT" "I CANNOT SEE HOW WE CAN POSSIBLYMAINTAIN THEGROWTH OF GDP IN THE LONG TERM IF WE CONTINUE TO CONSUME OUR PLANET AS VORACIOUSLYAS WE ARE DOINGPhoto: © European Union, 2011

well as many major international accounting firms,Stock Exchanges and the UN. What has pleased memost is that this initiative pre-empted the findings ofthe UN's study into The Economics of Ecosystems andBiodiversity, or TEEB, which reported last Summer tothe gathering of 193 Environment Ministers inNagoya. Having conducted a global assessment of themulti-trillion dollar importance to the world's economyof the natural world, it called for the present system ofnational accounts to be upgraded rapidly so theyinclude the health of natural capital, and therebyaccurately reflect how the services offered by naturalecosystems are performing.Underpinning any new framework, undoubtedly, is theneed for an integrated set of long-term public policiesand instruments to encourage a "green economy."Such an economy would rely on sustainable assetmanagement, more productive processing of waste,the construction of new, zero-carbon buildings and theretro-fitting of existing stock and on achieving stringentenergy efficiency targets for our buildings, cars andhousehold goods. If only we could look at the world inthis new way, we could create significant - and,crucially, sustainable -economic opportunities. Itwould be an economy that would, on the one hand, putmuch more emphasis on planning sustainable urbandevelopments and helping businesses to maintainbiodiversity and safeguard ecosystems, while, on theother, placing less reliance on those governmentsubsidies and mechanisms which, perversely, can endup eroding the vital, natural components that provideus with our essential capital resources.For these solutions to be implemented at scale wewould have to see effective partnerships between thepublic and private sectors and they would also need toinvolve the knowledge of many highly expert, non-governmental organisations. We could not leave it tothe market alone. Long-term public sector policiesneed to be coherent and consistent in order to createan environment which is conducive to private sectorinvestment. Only in this way will the private sector beprepared to commit investment capital.The marketcertainly offers a means of accelerating changes inbehaviour but, to be genuinely effective, thesechanges must be focused and clearly directed by long-term policies, and that means robust legislation and,dare I say it, just as robust enforcement.Now I would merely add to this list one very importantacknowledgement, if I may, and that is the role of theconsumer. It seems to me that until we all asconsumers really begin to demand sustainableproducts and services from businesses andgovernments, then policy-makers will struggle to seethe importance of introducing real change. Lately, Ihave been asking myself why the public has not eagerlyembraced the many advantages in pursuing asustainable future. My conclusion is that, for too long,environmentalists have tended to concentrate on whatpeople need to stop doing. If we are constantly toldthat living environmentally-friendly lives means givingup all that makes life worthwhile, then it is no surprisethat people refuse to change! That is why, last year, Ilaunched a new initiative called START, which aims toshow people what they could start doing -the simplesteps that we can all take to make better use of our natural resources. By working with some ofEurope's leading companies, such as Kingfisher andEurostar, as well as celebrities and marketingprofessionals, we are unashamedly attempting to sellthe benefits of sustainability. As one advertisingexecutive put it to me, we are "making it cool to useless stuff." Believe it or not, this smarter approach canactually be more profitable. As Marks and Spencerhave found, an innovative approach to sustainabilityactually saves money.I have to say, this process has not exactly been helpedby the corrosive effect on public opinion of thoseclimate change sceptics who deny the vast body ofscientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonabledoubt that global warming has been exacerbated byhuman industrialised activity. Their suggestion thathundreds of scientists around the world, and thosewho accept their dispassionate evidence - includingpresumably myself - are somehow unconsciouslybiased creates the implication that many of us are,somehow, secretly conspiring to undermine anddeliberately destroy the entire market-based capitalistsystem which now dominates the world! I would ask how these people are going to face theirgrandchildren and admit to them that they actuallyfailed their future; that they ignored all the clearwarning signs by passing them off as merely part of a"cyclical process" that had happened many timesbefore and was beyond our control; that they hadrefused to heed the desperate cries of those lastremaining traditional societies throughout the worldwho warned consistently of catastrophe because theycould read the signs of impending disintegration in theever-more violent, extreme aberrations in the normallyharmonious patterns of Nature. I wonder, will suchpeople be held accountable for the absolute refusal tocountenance a precautionary approach, for this plays Iwould suggest a most reckless game of roulette withthe future inheritance of those who come after us? An inheritance that will be shaped by what you decide to do here in this Parliament. I promise you, what you decide here could induce the verynecessary adjustments we so urgently need to make.So can I ask if you will be courageous enough to seizethe moment, set Europe on a course for survival andeconomic prosperity and so earn the endless gratitudeof our descendants? nThe above remarks by HRH The Prince of Wales weredelivered during the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit atthe European Parliament, Brussels, 9 February 2011. For more information please visit:www.princeofwales.gov.ukSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT051