Climate change poses greater existential threat than COVID-19, says Prince Charles

During his COP26 opening ceremony speech, His Royal Highness called for togetherness and a military-style plan to tackle climate change

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how devastating a global cross-border threat can be. Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different.

“In fact, they pose an even greater existential threat, to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.”

That was the verdict of Prince Charles in his speech delivered to the world at the opening ceremony of COP26.

His Royal Highness referenced the ground-breaking report from the IPCC on climate change earlier this year and provided some solutions to the problems the planet is facing: “The recent IPCC report gave us a clear diagnosis of the scale of the problem. We know what we must do.

“We have to reduce emissions urgently and take action to tackle the carbon already in the atmosphere, including from coal-fired power stations. Putting a value on carbon, thus making carbon capture solutions more economical is therefore absolutely critical.”

Togetherness and cooperation were key ingredients in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s preceding speech and the thoughts of the Prince of Wales were no different: “Our efforts cannot be a series of independent initiatives running in parallel.

“The scale and scope of the threat we face, call for a global systems-level solution, based on radically transforming our current fossil-fuel based economy to one that is genuinely renewable and sustainable.

“My plea today is for countries to come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required.”

He called for more action to be taken to take advantage of investment and utilise the private sector: “We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector.”

“We know from the pandemic, that the private sector can speed up timelines dramatically when everyone agrees on the urgency and the direction,” he concluded.