‘We now have no alternative’: Prince Charles urges action at COP26 amid wildfires in Mediterranean

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‘We now have no alternative’: Prince Charles urges action at COP26 amid wildfires in Mediterranean
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The Prince of Wales has warned leaders from government and the private sector that they must take substantial action at the forthcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow “before it is finally too late”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Prince Charles pointed towards the recent wildfires ripping through Mediterranean countries as one of the reasons world leaders must seize the opportunity to act.

He wrote: “We now have no alternative - we have to do all we possibly can in the short time left to us to avoid the enormous climate catastrophe that has already begun to show its face in the most terrifying ways, most recently in the Mediterranean.

“World leaders, working closely with the private sector, have the power to make the difference.

COP26 affords them an opportunity to do so before it is finally too late.”

Charles said he held a “particular fascination and affection for Greece because his father, Prince Philip, and grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, were both born there. But watching the destruction wrought by the fires has been “truly the stuff of nightmares to see”, wrote the prince.

Earlier this month, the heir to the throne made a donation to the Hellenic Red Cross (HRC) to support the organisation’s humanitarian response to wildfires in Greece.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the fires as the greatest ecological disaster his country has witnessed in decades, after an extended heatwave in the region. Greece, Italy and Turkey have been ravaged by blazes this summer.

Charles added: “In view of the fact that we have been busily testing our world to destruction and have left everything to the last minute, so that time is rapidly running out, they can only hope to win this epic battle if their counterparts in governments work with them to create the right conditions for an accelerated green transition.

“This is why COP26 is so crucially important for our very survival on this increasingly over-heating planet – something our children and grandchildren are rightly and deeply concerned about.”

The prince has repeatedly called on businesses to support his “Terra Carta” charter, a Magna Carta-style charter launched in January to safeguard the planet by adopting sustainability and invest £7.3bn in “natural capital”.

The Terra Carta’s statement of intent includes voluntary commitments such as supporting international agreements on climate, biodiversity and desertification, supporting efforts to protect half the planet by 2050, and making investments in a low-carbon future.

Although more than 400 firms have since signed up to the charter as a “Coalition of the Willing”, Charles said greater cooperation from governments is needed.

Prime minister Boris Johnson gave his backing to the “Coalition of the Willing” before the G7 summit in Cornwall, which took place in June.

The leaders gathered at the summit committed to support a “green revolution” that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C.

They also promised to increase the amount of climate finance on offer to developing countries.

Additional reporting by PA

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