In Brief

Prince Charles: we have 18 months to save human race

Prince of Wales speaks out about climate change at gathering of Commonwealth leaders

Prince Charles

Prince Charles has warned global leaders they have 18 months to solve climate change, restore the balance of nature and ensure the survival of the human race.

Addressing foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth at Clarence House, he said: “Ladies and gentlemen, I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival.”

He told the global leaders that they were “uniquely positioned” to lead the world by example, urging them to match ambition with “the practical action that is required”. The “unity and strength” of the Commonwealth would be vital in a world “facing unparalleled challenges caused by rapid climate change and biodiversity loss”, he said.

Acknowledging a series of environmental conferences to be held by the United Nations, he said the next 18 months will bring “critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade”. 

The Prince of Wales has a longstanding interest in environmental issues. Last month, he warned it might already be “too late” to save the planet from descending into an environmental crisis.

In 2013, he said that ignoring climate change is turning the world into a “dying patient”.

The heir to the British throne was confirmed as the Commonwealth’s next head of government last year following the Queen’s public recommendation.

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