Charles: We must put ourselves on a war footing over climate change

The Prince of Wales has urged nations to work together to tackle the environmental threat to the planet – just as the world has mobilised to combat the coronavirus.

Charles used global efforts to halt the spread of the deadly Covid-19 illness as an example of how urgent action is possible, during a speech to delegates at a WaterAid event looking at the impact of climate change on drinking water.

WaterAid, which the prince supports as president, works to provide clean water, decent toilets and hygiene knowledge across the globe and states that 3.6 billion people live in areas where water is scarce, due to issues like drought or flooding contaminating supplies.

WaterAid’s Water and Climate event – London
WaterAid’s Water and Climate event – London

The number of people living with inadequate sources of water is predicted to rise to five billion by 2050, if no global action is taken.

Charles, who has recently been following the practice of not shaking hands, told a round-table discussion group: “With the urgency that now exists around avoiding irreversible damage to our planet, we must put ourselves on what can only be described as a war footing.

“The current battle against the coronavirus at least demonstrates, if nothing else, how quickly the world can mobilise when we identify a common threat.”

Also around the table was Prince Albert of Monaco, a long-term supporter of WaterAid, Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith and senior representatives from global companies like the World Bank, Unilever and international water organisations.