William urges effort to tackle ‘impending global catastrophe’ of climate change

The Duke of Cambridge has used a speech on the second day of his royal tour to urge the UK and Pakistan to “work together” amid an “impending global catastrophe” over climate change.

William referred to “spectacular” glaciers melting in the northern region of the Commonwealth country during his address on Tuesday evening.

But he also made reference to the troubled background of the country during the reception, hosted by Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, at the historic Pakistan Monument.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception at the National Monument in Islamabad
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception at the National Monument in Islamabad (Chris Jackson/PA)

The duke referred to “hardships” faced by Pakistan, alluding to the country’s role in the fight against terrorism.

“For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred,” he said.

“Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today.”

The duke included a reference to glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region melting, which he said had serious consequences for “not only the availability of water, but on agriculture and hydropower generation”.

Kensington Palace said ahead of the visit that the duke and duchess were keen to learn more about climate change issues affecting Pakistan on their five-day tour.

“The effects of climate change threaten the present and the future – and therefore demand a concerted effort by everyone,” the duke said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception at the National Monument in Islamabad
William and Kate at the reception (Chris Jackson/PA)

“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”

He went on: “Ladies and gentlemen, given the scale and complexities of the challenges that future generations will face, it is clear that we all need to work together.

“And whether it’s this generation or the next, I know that the UK and Pakistan will continue to exemplify the very best in international co-operation.

“Yes, the challenges ahead are great. But we cannot be daunted, nor distracted.”

William referred to Muhammad Ali Jinnah – a lawyer, politician and the founder of Pakistan – as he brought his address to a close.

The duke finished saying: “Instead, we should draw strength from our shared bonds and heed the words of Muhammad Ali Jinnah as we do so, ‘My message to you all’ he said ‘is of hope, courage, and confidence’.”

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