Cop26 ‘last chance saloon’ to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, Prince Charles warns

‘We must now translate fine words into still finer actions’

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Sunday 31 October 2021 19:11 GMT
The Prince of Wales arrives at the G20 summit in Rome
The Prince of Wales arrives at the G20 summit in Rome (Getty Images)

Prince Charles has warned that the Cop26 summit is the “last chance saloon” to save the planet and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, as he told world leaders they have an “overwhelming responsibility of to generations yet unborn”.

The comments from the heir to the throne came after Boris Johnson struck a pessimistic tone about the likely success of the conference, suggesting an agreement in Glasgow would be a “way station that allows us to end climate change”.

The president of Cop26, Alok Sharma, also stressed on Sunday it would be a “tough ask” to reach the objective of persuading world leaders to sign up to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The former business minister said he hopes political leaders emerge from the two weeks of talks with “credibility”, having “kept 1.5C alive”.

But he warned that even if that ambition is achieved, it will not put a stop to rising sea levels caused by global warming swamping some countries.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Rome, Prince Charles told delegates there was an “urgent need” to explore how to develop “a mechanism to provide sovereign risk guarantees that would help release the vast sums of money to make this public/private partnership a reality”.

“And that, in turn, is our only hope if we are to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees,” he stressed.

He went on: “Cop26 begins in Glasgow tomorrow. Quite literally, it is the last chance saloon. We must now translate fine words into still finer actions.

“And as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates people’s conversations, from newsrooms to living rooms, and as the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake, it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident, sustainable trajectory and, thus, save our planet.”

The Prince of Wales added that “it is only too clear” trillions of dollars of investment will be required to reach the 1.5 degree climate target that will “save our forests and farms, our oceans and wildlife”.

“No government has those sorts of sums – which is why I have 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,” he said

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