Charles: Climate crisis will ‘dwarf’ impact of coronavirus


The Prince of Wales has warned that the climate crisis will “dwarf” the impact of coronavirus.

Charles, speaking via a recorded message from Birkhall in the grounds of Balmoral, said that “swift and immediate action” needs to take place.

The prince, a keen environmentalist, said the Covid-19 pandemic is a “window of opportunity” to reset the economy for a more “sustainable and inclusive” future.

The message, to be played at the virtual opening of Climate Week on Monday afternoon, said: “Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to ‘reset’ for… a more sustainable and inclusive future.

“In other words, the global pandemic is a wake-up call we cannot ignore…

“…[the environmental] crisis has been with us for far too many years – decried, denigrated and denied.

“It is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Greta Thunberg met the Prince of Wales in Davos
Greta Thunberg met the Prince of Wales in Davos

Charles, 71, who tested positive for coronavirus in March, previously urged members of the Commonwealth to come together to tackle climate change.

He also called on business and political leaders to embrace a radical reshaping of economies and markets in order to tackle the crisis at the Davos summit back in January.

The prince has also met teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Last month a study suggested the global lockdown will have a “negligible” impact on rising temperatures but a green recovery could avert dangerous climate change.

Experts led by the University of Leeds found that lockdowns caused a fall in transport use, as well as reductions in industry and commercial operations, cutting the greenhouse gases and pollutants caused by vehicles and other activities.

However the impact is only short-lived, with analysis showing that even if some measures last until the end of 2021, global temperatures will only be 0.01C lower than expected by 2030.