Speaking in an event attended by Boris Johnson, Prince Charles warned leaders have an “overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn”
Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Charles has called for trillions of dollars in investment every single year to stop a climate change disaster.
The Prince of Wales warned tomorrow’s COP26 summit in Glasgow is “the last chance saloon” to stop global temperatures rising beyond 1.5C.
Hosting an event attended by Boris Johnson, he said leaders have a “responsibility to generations yet unborn”.
The heir to the throne spoke at the G20 summit in Rome, before leaders departed for the 12-day COP gathering tonight.
Rich nations have already missed a target to give $100billion a year in private and public climate finance to poorer nations.
But Prince Charles told G20 dignitaries: “We will need trillions of dollars of investment every year to create the necessary new infrastructure and meet the vital 1.5C target climate that will save our forests and farms, our oceans and our wildlife.
“No government has those sorts of sums.
“Which is why I’ve spent so much time over the past 19 months trying to form a global alliance amongst the private sector, as I have long believed it holds the ultimate key to the solutions we seek.”
The Prince warned COP26 is “quite literally… the last chance saloon” and urged leaders to “set aside our differences”.
He added it was “impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people”, saying: “The planet’s health today will dictate the health, happiness and economic prosperity of generations to come. Hence our overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn.
He went on: “After nearly 50 years of trying to raise awareness of the growing environmental crisis, I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum.”
Downing Street appeared to distance itself from Prince Charles’ call for more than $1trillion a year.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman urged “every country to make ambitious commitments”.
But he added: “The UK has already put in £11.6bn towards (the $100bn) target. We believe that is the right number for us, and is a significant sum of money, and it’s right it is provided.
“We will continue to discuss with individual countries about what more can be done.”
Asked if the UK government supported the trillions target, he replied: “You’ve got our position as regards to climate financing.”
President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid has urged nations to give $1trillion to developing nations to 2030.
But Boris Johnson has described COP26 as a “way station” towards achieving climate goals at a later date.
No10 denied the Prince was more ambitious than the PM. Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has talked about the vital importance of securing agreements throughout the COP26 period. That has not changed.
“It is just simply factual that this COP26 was not meant to secure agreements necessary to limiting to 1.5C in one fell swoop.
“That goal is to be achieved over this decade.”
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
No10 were unable to say if the Prince and the Prime Minister spoke at the G20 event or what was said.
Prince Charles was invited to speak by Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi.
He will also deliver the opening address at the UN climate change conference which opens today and tomorrow in Glasgow.
Some 25,000 delegates from 196 nations will descend on COP26 tomorrow, including more than 120 world leaders greeted personally by the PM.
A glittering opening ceremony will also see speeches from Mr Johnson and Sir David Attenborough – followed by a royal reception with a video message from the Queen, who is unable to attend for health reasons.
World leaders will also watch a short film written by an eight-year-old Blue Peter viewer, imagining a future where beloved animals are extinct.
Boris Johnson said: “COP26 will be the world’s moment of truth. The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away.”