Prince Charles has opened up talks at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Summit with an emphatic call to action to world leaders, urging all to act now, lest we “become the architects of our own destruction.”
“On an increasingly crowded planet, humanity faces many threats, but none is greater than climate change” he told an audience of delegates from 195 countries across the world, describing the nature of a crisis that “magnifies every hazard and tension of our existence.”
The Prince of Wales was one of three who opened up the conference, along with the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, and Christiana Figueres, the climate chief for the UN.
He went on: “[climate change] threatens our ability to feed ourselves, to remain healthy and safe from extreme weather, to manage the natural resources that support our economies, and to avert the humanitarian disaster of mass migration and increasing conflict.”
He tacitly criticised governments like the UK’s, who have been slashing subsidies for renewable energy producers and scrapping plans to improve energy efficient house building and urged an about turn on such policies in order to provide a positive future “not only [for] those alive today but also [for] generations as yet unborn.”
He emphasised the fact that despite the, admittedly, more immediate global problems such as the ongoing conflict with ISIS in the middle east, we must not overlook the problems of climate change as an issue that has far reaching consequences for the entire global population.
“We must act now” he said, “already we are being overtaken by other events and crises that can be seen as greater and more immediate threats. But in reality many are already, and will increasingly be, related to the growing effects of climate change.”
In the latter point here there seems to be subtle allusion to the fact that the global climate problem and problems in the middle east are not so separable as one might be immediately led to believe, particularly given the important role that oil supplies have played in the turmoil that has racked the region over the past years.
He ended with an emotive call to arms:
“In damaging our climate we become architects of our own destruction. While the planet can survive the scorching of the Earth and the rising of the waters, the human race cannot. The absurd this is we know exactly what needs to be done.”