Prince Charles warns of ‘perfect storm’ if Paris talks fail
VALLETTA, Malta—Prince Charles warned on Thursday that if international leaders fail to clinch a deal on climate change at talks in Paris next week, it would leave mankind facing a “perfect storm.”
“This meeting falls at a very important, indeed critical moment for the future of mankind and our planet,” he said in a speech at the Commonwealth summit in the Mediterranean island of Malta.
“Countless concerned people around the world” are banking on global leaders to come up with an ambitious long-term goal for the rapid reduction of carbon emissions, he said.
“We face an unprecedented set of interlocking challenges, all of which are creeping up on us in the shape of perfect storm,” he added, from unsustainable population growth to migration, rapid globalization, and social economic and energy insecurity.
The Commonwealth family of 53 nations is gathering in Malta for three days of talks to reach agreements that will open doors for wider deals at the climate talks in Paris.
Queen Elizabeth II is making a state visit to Malta to coincide with the summit, supported by her husband Prince Philip, their eldest son Charles and his wife Camilla.
Born out of the British empire, the Commonwealth of Nations brings together around a quarter of the world’s countries and a third of its population.
‘Trillions of dollars’
Prince Charles said the influence of the Commonwealth should not be underestimated, but he insisted deals made here would mean little if the private sector could not get behind the climate change fight and provide financial aid.
“If there is one thing other than taxes and death of which we can be certain, it is that there is never going to be enough public money to implement the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) or Paris agreement,” he said.
“Billions of dollars will need to become trillions of dollars,” he insisted, with an “estimated $90 trillion needed for infrastructure development alone over the next 15 years, in order to have any hope of keeping us in a world only 2.0 degrees warmer.”
World leaders including French President François Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were to join the climate debate talks in Valletta on Friday.
The outcome of the Paris talks would “determine the survival of our species and all those who share this precious planet with us,” Charles said. “We do have a responsibility to act now,” he said. AFP
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