On 11 January the Prince of Wales announced Terra Carta, Earth Charter, a Magna Carta for the twenty-first century: the basis of a recovery plan for nature, people and the planet. A valentine to the earth, I thought. He said:
Humanity has made incredible progress over the past century, yet the cost of this progress has caused immense destruction to the planet that sustains us. We simply cannot maintain this course indefinitely … . It is time to focus on the future we wish to build, and indeed leave, for generations to come.
Terra Carta sets out aims for combining the power of nature with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector. Banks, oil companies, AstraZeneca and Unilever to name a few from a long list, have already signed up. Their aim:
To identify ways to set our planet on a fundamentally more sustainable trajectory. Together [they will] develop a charter of ambitious, but practical action … to put Nature, and the protection of Nature’s capital – from which we draw an annual return – at the heart of how we operate.
The fundamental principles set out in Magna Carta, that the King be subject to law and no free person be deprived of freedom without due process of law (Habeas Corpus) now finds, in its sister Charter, the intention that we be subject to the natural laws that sustain our Earth, and that no free planet should be deprived of the freedom to breathe.