Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall sets target for net zero by early 2030s

The landed estate has seen a 76% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, but will work to improve Duchy supply chain emissions.

The Prince of Wales (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)
The Prince of Wales (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Duchy of Cornwall – the Prince of Wales’ landed estate – has set out its ambition to reach net zero carbon by the early 2030s.

New initiatives, which will focus on working with the Duchy’s farm tenants to achieve the goal, were outlined in its Net Zero Carbon Report, published on Wednesday.

Farming contributes to 60% of Duchy supply chain (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions.

The Prince of Wales attending a reception to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his chairmanship of the Duchy of Cornwall in 2019 (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Duchy has seen a 76% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, and its direct carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) have been net zero since 2006, the report showed.

Heir to the throne Charles, writing in the foreword, said: “This report highlights the significance of emissions arising from land use.

“Yet land has, perhaps uniquely, huge potential for helping to solve this crisis.

“This plan, therefore, entreats all tenants and partners to work with us to achieve this common goal, so that we really can deliver sustainable stewardship, for communities, enterprise and nature.”

David Cope, head of sustainability for the Duchy, said: “Our response to the climate crisis, as set out in this report, is to first acknowledge that greenhouse gas emissions from the Duchy, our tenants and our suppliers have contributed to global heating.

“And then secondly, we commit to decisive action, to work with tenants and suppliers to move to net zero rapidly, so halting our contribution to the climate crisis.

“Our plans will see greenhouse gas emission reductions across all the Duchy’s property assets, and we will increase the sequestration of carbon dioxide on Duchy property through promoting nature-based solutions as part of our natural capital enhancement projects.”

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attend a reception at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery in Lostwithiel (Chris Jackson/PA)

The initiatives include a transition plan for each farm tenant and a farming engagement toolkit with a range of supporting tools for farmers.

These ideas will be integrated into future agreements so ‘better than net zero’ farms will ‘benefit from their leading position’, the Duchy said.

A tree-planting programme will also be introduced as one of the nature-based solutions.

Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall estate is a portfolio of land, property and investments worth more than £1 billion.

It extends across 23 counties in England and Wales and includes the Oval cricket ground and 67,000 acres of Dartmoor.

Created in 1337 by Edward III for his son Edward, the Black Prince, the Duchy’s main purpose is to provide an income, independent of the monarch, for the heir apparent.

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