Prince Charles lobbied to change climate policy in way that caused his estate to profit off its investment in a Bermuda company, Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd., the BBC reports.
The revelation about the prince of Wales came in a 13.4 million document leak known as the Paradise Papers. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently released the documents revealing financial information on the world’s elite, The New York Times reports.
The Paradise Papers revealed that while Prince Charles was lobbying for a rule change to allow “carbon credits” from rainforests to be bought and traded, Charles’s estate invested $113,500 in Sustainable Forestry, according to the BBC.
Duchy of Cambridge ended up tripling its investment. The estate maintains that Charles had nothing to do with the investment, and that he has advocated for many climate change policies over decades. In 2015, Charles gave a speech at University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, saying “profound changes” are needed ” if we are to limit climate change, conserve resources and keep ecosystems functioning, while at the same time improving the health and wellbeing of billions of people.”
The spokesman said Charles is allowed to offer advice on a wide range of subjects, but “it is for others to decide whether to take the advice.”
The former chairman of a government ethics advisory council, Sir Alistair Graham, said the revelation was troubling.
“There’s a conflict of interest between his own investments of the Duchy of Cornwall and what he’s trying to achieve publicly,” Graham told the BBC. “I think it’s unfortunate that somebody of his importance, of his influence, becomes involved in such a serious conflict.”
The documents contain information on other members of the Royal Family, as well. The queen was found to have invested the rough equivalent of $13 million in offshore accounts, which her financial manager said were “fully audited and legitimate,” according to the Independent.
The legitimate investments have not prevented criticisms of the queen’s financial managers, however. Critics claim the managers brought the “monarchy into disrepute” for stashing funds in havens safe from British taxation, the Independent reports.
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