HRH The Prince of Wales addressed Overseas Territories Leaders, including the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, at the opening of the Environment session of the UK/OT Joint Ministerial Council last week.

The Prince of Wales referred to the importance of the Overseas Territories from the point of view of the protection of biodiversity and praised the good work being done in the Territories in relation to the Environment and Climate Change.

The discussion was chaired, from Gibraltar, by Minister for Environment and Climate Change John Cortes. Discussion included funding for the environment, particularly in view of loss of EU Environment Funds, the effects of COVID-19 on economies and the effect of this on the environment, the transition to renewable energy, and participation by the Overseas territories in COP26, the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow in 2021. There were contributions from many of the OT representatives as well as from the Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton, and the Minister for the Environment Lord Goldsmith.

The UK’s commitment to Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change and to protection off the Oceans was highlighted, with the recent protection of 90% of the waters around Tristan da Cunha as a particular example. The UK Government committed to continue to work with the Territories and to review funding opportunities for environmental and climate change initiatives.