‘Exceptionally poor substitute’: Jacinda Ardern replaces Prince William at environment summit

Jacinda Ardern stood in for Prince William at an environmental summit in New York, describing herself as an “exceptionally poor substitute”.
The New Zealand Prime Minister has been personally invited by the Prince of Wales to replace him at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit, a side event to United Nations General Assembly Leaders Week.
Supported by the British Royal Family and beloved conservationist David Attenborough, the Earthshot Prize awards huge sums to conservation leaders to encourage sustainable development efforts.

Ms Ardern was introduced by former New York mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who said the New Zealand Prime Minister was “a global leader on climate change” who had “dedicated his life to building a better world”.

“I am an exceptionally poor replacement, but I also know that we all understand the need for Her Royal Highness to be with her family at this time,” Ms Ardern said.
She said her message was one of “gratitude and encouragement”.
“As governments, we have a responsibility to create the incentives and the space for you to thrive…and the responsibility that comes with guardianship.
“We often think about our challenges but imagine for a moment what can be achieved by channeling our potential.”

Ms Ardern discussed her government’s efforts to tackle climate change, including legislating a platform to limit New Zealand’s emissions to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with an independent agency and her intention to do so .

She also confirmed New Zealand’s ambition to become “the first country in the world to price agricultural emissions”.
The New Zealand leader is in New York this week to deliver New Zealand’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, which she will do on Saturday morning (AEST).
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weighs on the world summit, with Ms Ardern telling reporters in New York that more countries must condemn Vladimir Putin’s war.
“What we need here is a rallying cry from around the world. What’s happening here is illegal, it’s immoral,” she said.

“All this fake narrative around liberating Ukraine, you’re not attacking and threatening to use nuclear weapons on a country that you claim to be liberating.”

On Thursday, she will take part in a panel with her predecessor as New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to discuss pandemic preparedness.

The Earthshot Prize takes its name from US President John F Kennedy’s description of space travel as a daring “moonshot”, an ambition that led to the creation of other technologies.