Prince Charles praises William and Harry’s climate concern for ‘world on the brink’

UK royal says ‘there is not a moment to lose’ in his urgent call for action

Prince Charles has said world leaders need to provide “clear market signals” to investors to give them the confidence to focus on climate-friendly projects. Photo: PA

Britain’s Prince Charles has said “the world is on the brink” of an environmental catastrophe due to the effects of global warming, which he likened to the threat of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963.

The heir to the throne outlined a three-point plan to tackle the climate change and praised his sons Prince William and Prince Harry for their efforts to draw attention to the cause.

In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, Prince Charles, 73, said governments, global industries and private companies need to make climate commitments in order for meaningful change to happen.

Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son said industry leaders would need to set out strategies to reduce the warming of the planet and private investors would need to stump up the capital to fund the transition.

He said world leaders would need to provide “clear market signals” to investors to give them the confidence to offer long-term financial backing.

“The time is now… Let ours be the generation that ‘can’. And does. As we enter a new year, there is not a moment to lose,” he wrote.

Charles urged the global private sector to invest in a sustainable future, saying it would take “trillions, not billions” to reorient the world economy away from fossil fuels.

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday March 9, 2020, members of Britain's royal family, with Prince Charles in foreground, followed by Prince William with Kate Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry with Meghan Duchess of Sussex, as they leave the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family along with various government leaders and guests attended the annual Commonwealth Day service, the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom.  The prince’s Clarence House office reported on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 that the 71-year-old Prince Charles is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland, also saying his wife Camilla has tested negative. (Phil Harris / FILE via AP)

The prince quoted the late US president John F Kennedy’s “Strategy of Peace” speech, which called for a de-escalation of the nuclear arms race at the height of the Cold War.

“Once again, the world is on the brink, and we need the mobilising urgency of a war-like footing if we are to win,” he wrote.

He used the same phrase during his address to world leaders at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow last November.

In 2020, during a video message for Climate Week NYC, he similarly called for a “Marshall-like plan for nature, people and the planet”.

Charles added that “the eyes of our children and our grandchildren are judging us” over the current response to climate change.

“Already, younger generations have expressed an understandable frustration about the pace of action on this issue,” he said.

He also paid tribute to William and Harry for their work in the battle against the climate crisis.

“As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognised this threat,” he said.

“Most recently my elder son, William, launched the prestigious Earthshot Prize to incentivise change and help repair our planet over the next 10 years by identifying and investing in the technologies that can make a difference.

“And my younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change, especially in relation to Africa, and committed his charity to being net zero.”

The future monarch also praised his late father Prince Philip for being decades ahead of his generation in the climate plight.

“Sixty years ago, my late father identified the damage humankind was inflicting on the planet and helped to found the World Wildlife Fund,” he said.

The Prince of Wales’ representatives said his essay marked the first time he had written for a US publication in 10 years.

It will feature as the cover story of the magazine’s second issue of 2022, dated January 21 and available from January 14.

Newsweek’s global editor-in-chief Nancy Cooper called it a “powerful appeal” for change and said given the prince’s experience of working to tackle climate change he speaks about climate change with “deep knowledge and real authority”.

Updated: January 4th 2022, 11:40 AM