Prince Charles to CNN: “This pandemic won’t be the last one if we’re not very careful”
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales issued a stark warning about the impact of climate change and the loss of biodiversity in the world.
“We are making ourselves ever more vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and problems. This pandemic won’t be the last one if we’re not very careful. So that’s why it’s critical to heal the natural world as well as ourselves.”
The Prince spoke to CNN around the launch of the Terra Carta initiative, a fresh charge to tackle the climate crisis with the support of several major companies including Bank of America and BP.
“The Terra Carta is of such importance, because I hope it enshrines that understanding of why we must work with nature in harmony again as we always should be doing.”
Unveiled earlier today during the One Planet Summit in Paris, the charter seeks to protect the world’s natural resources and accelerate the transition to a greener future. It contains nearly 100 actions that businesses can take, including a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and protecting natural ecosystems.
The Prince of Wales also spoke about coronavirus vaccines, after it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh had received their vaccinations over the weekend. The Prince said that he would “absolutely” get a vaccine when he is offered one and went on to say, “I think vaccination is critical in order to ensure that we have a way out of this, otherwise it’s going to be very difficult.”
Prince Charles also discussed the U.S. plan to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, stressing it’s “absolutely critical to have the United States involved and playing a key and essential part.”
Prince Charles on the environment and the pandemic:
“Planetary health and nature’s health is intimately linked to our own health. And the more we destroy the natural world around us and biodiversity, on which we depend, in its infinite variety, the more we encourage mass extinctions of species that we don’t always realise we depend on, because each of us is interconnected with the rest of nature, then we are making ourselves ever more vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and problems. This pandemic won’t be the last one if we’re not very careful. So that’s why it’s critical to heal the natural world as well as ourselves.”
Prince Charles on vaccinations:
“I think vaccination is critical in order to ensure that we have a way out of this, otherwise it’s going to be very difficult.”
Prince Charles on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine:
“It is remarkable what AstraZeneca is doing in making it [the vaccine] available at cost, they’re not making a profit of any kind. There are some remarkable things being done by the business world to assist.”
Prince Charles on the U.S. role in the Paris Climate Agreement:
“It was obviously very sad that the United States hasn’t been able to play as much of a part as it was, because of course many people round the world have always looked to the United States for leadership. As one of the greatest economies in the world it’s absolutely critical to have the United States involved and playing a key and essential part.”
Prince Charles on naming the Terra Carta:
“There is a significance in it, in terms of how the Magna Carta was something which inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people, and it seemed to me critical now that we understand as a result of what we’ve done to nature for so long, that nature herself has her own rights and we have a responsibility to try to remember that.”
Prince Charles on young people’s role in the future:
“There are so many young people who are now employees in many of the companies around the world, who are also pushing as hard as they can for action to be taken, to rescue this situation, to restore biodiversity before it’s too late and also to try to decarbonise our economy as fast as possible.”