The Prince of Wales has urged big businesses to do ‘a great deal more’ to tackle the ‘alarming’ threat of climate change.
Speaking via video message to a summit of corporate lawyers in London, he said there is ‘no excuse’ not to take immediate action and ‘this really is the final call’.
It comes as scientists warned that elephants, rhinos and tawny eagles could become extinct within 100 years as they can’t adapt to a changing climate fast enough.
The study, by a team led by the University of Southampton, also said human activity and habitat destruction was also a factor leading to their extinction.
The Prince of Wales said big businesses have `no excuse´ not to take immediate action to tackle the ‘alarming’ threat of climate change (Stock photo)
Addressing global legal association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, he said we are ‘engineering the rapid destruction of the natural world around us, on which we depend for our ultimate survival, along with many of the species with which we share this planet.
‘I feel there is a great deal more that can, and must, be done.
‘It does not need to be a choice between being profitable on the one hand, and doing the right thing on the other. Both are achievable.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, all is not yet totally lost, but this really is the final call.’
During the speech Charles referenced a study, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which looked at the impact of global warming raising world temperatures by 1.5 degrees centigrade compared to pre-industrial levels.
He was addressing a summit of a global legal association, held in London, via video message. (Pictured) Prince Charles on a royal visit to Belfast to celebrate tourism in the region
He went on: ‘The report makes it clear that we face a number of truly terrifying and interconnected threats, unless we take really urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1C or less, since even restraining it to 1.5C will have catastrophic effects.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I feel you really have no excuse not to act on global warming and climate change; the greatest threat multiplier of all.
‘With four out of five of the global risks listed by the World Economic Forum for 2019 being environmental, these issues are only going to become vastly more important for your companies, to say nothing of humanity.
‘And so there really is no time to lose.’
Charles was speaking on behalf of his Accounting for Sustainability project, a nonprofit founded in 2004.
It has partnered with the ACC to increase the role of corporate lawyers to advance environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices.
A study published today by scientists warned that the world’s largest animals including elephants, rhinos and tawny eagles could go extinct in the next 100 years due to climate change
A study published today by scientists also warned that the world’s large animals could go extinct in 100 years as they can’t keep up with climate change.
Meanwhile smaller animals like songbirds and gerbils, which can adapt to a wide variety of environments, will thrive, the experts predicted.
The researchers estimated that more than 1,000 larger species of mammals and birds will go extinct which could lead to the collapse of ecosystems that humans rely on for food and water.
Researchers said that the highly-fertile, insect-eating ‘winners’ include rodents such as the dwarf gerbil, and songbirds such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver.
The study focused on 15,484 living land mammals and birds worldwide using statistical tools.
The team, led by the University of Southampton, also predicts that the average body mass of mammals will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century.
This decline represents an accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent reduction in body size observed in species 130,000 years ago. – the last interglacial period.
HOW MUCH WILL SEA LEVELS RISE IN THE NEXT FEW CENTURIES?
Global sea levels could rise by as much as 1.2 metres by 2300, according to a report published in February last year by climate scientists from across the world
Global sea levels could rise by as much as 1.2 metres (4 feet) by 2300 even if we meet the 2015 Paris climate goals, scientists have warned.
The long-term change will be driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that is set to re-draw global coastlines.
Sea level rise threatens cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives.
It is vital that we curb emissions as soon as possible to avoid an even greater rise, a German-led team of researchers said in a report by climate scientists from across the world published in February last year.
By 2300, the report projected that sea levels would gain by 0.7-1.2 metres, even if almost 200 nations fully meet goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Targets set by the accords include cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of this century.
Ocean levels will rise inexorably because heat-trapping industrial gases already emitted will linger in the atmosphere, melting more ice, it said.
In addition, water naturally expands as it warms above four degrees Celsius (39.2°F).
The report also found that every five years of delay beyond 2020 in peaking global emissions would mean an extra 20 centimetres (8 inches) of sea level rise by 2300.
‘Sea level is often communicated as a really slow process that you can’t do much about … but the next 30 years really matter,’ lead author Dr Matthias Mengel, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Potsdam, Germany, told Reuters.
None of the nearly 200 governments to sign the Paris Accords are on track to meet its pledges.