Prince Charles explained to politicians that the next 18 months will decide the planet's ability to keep climate change to survivable levels with "practical action".

By Ian Horswill


Posted on July 29, 2019

In order to save the world, there is a series of climate change meetings that have to end in action being taken in the next 18 months, scientists, environmentalists and Prince Charles are stating.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. However, there is growing concern that unless global action is taken.

“The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020,” Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute, told the BBC.

Prince Charles, as the future head of the Commonwealth, earlier this month told foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth that “practical action is required” to avert catastrophic changes to the world’s climate.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival,” he said at the meeting at Clarence House, London, UK.

“Next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, therefore, could not be more important and I can only say how much I look forward, I hope, to seeing you and your leaders in Kigali so that we will succeed in raising our level of ambition, while matching it with the practical action that is required.”

Climate change protest - Bob Blob Unsplash

“I truly believe that the Commonwealth is uniquely positioned to join forces and lead the world by example. The next 18 months will see critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade,” said Prince Charles.

“Next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting stands of course at a pivotal point in the middle of these events and will be an absolutely vital moment to consolidate consensus on the way forward, not least of which, will be the deliberations on how to increase the amount of private sector finance flowing towards supporting sustainable development throughout the Commonwealth.”

Read next: One million species face extinction within our lifetime

Before that there is a special climate summit called by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to be held in New York City on September 23.

“The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals,” the UN stated.

“The race is on. It is a race we can win. It is a race we must win.”

The really vital meeting, considered to be one of the most important since the 2015 Paris summit, will be COP26, which will take place in the UK at the end of 2020. The UK’s former clean growth minister Claire Perry has been appointed Provisional President of COP26, a move which has gained widespread support.

As the UK energy and climate minister, Perry championed the “powering past coal alliance”, a coalition of national and local governments and businesses committed to phasing out unabated coal power, together with Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna.

Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, tweeted:

Christiana Figueres, former head of UN Climate Change and architect of the Paris Agreement, tweeted:

“If we succeed in our bid (to host COP26) then we will ensure we build on the Paris agreement and reflect the scientific evidence accumulating now that we need to go further and faster,” said former UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove, in his last major speech in the position.

“And we need at COP26 to ensure other countries are serious about their obligations and that means leading by example. Together we must take all the steps necessary to restrict global warming to at least 1.5C.”

The global climate agreement that was signed in Paris in 2015, which Donald Trump pulled the US out of, has seen 185 states and the EU commit to improving their carbon-cutting plans by the end of the year.