Britain’s Prince Charles, who is to give a speech at the start of the UN climate summit in Paris next week, said in an interview out on Monday that the war in Syria could be linked to global warming.
“There’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years,” Charles told SkyNews.
He said the drought meant that “huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land”.
“Some of us were saying 20 years ago that if we didn’t tackle these issues, you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources,” he said.
Charles also said there was “a real possibility of nature’s bank going bust” -- just as financial giants did in the 2008 crisis -- and warned a deal on cutting emissions would be “very difficult”.
“Do we really have to face catastrophes and chaos before we understand that real action needs to be taken?” said the 67-year-old heir to the throne, a longtime staunch defender of the environment.
Charles referred back to the Copenhagen summit which he attended in 2009, the last time countries sought to craft a universal climate pact and failed.
“That really ended in disaster, frankly, which is a total tragedy because we’ve lost all those years in between. There’s a lot to catch up on,” he said.
He also underlined the importance of checking up on action being taken by countries after the summit.
“After the conference, it’s going to be very difficult I think to get agreement on the necessary reductions and the necessary actions that need to be taken to keep global warming at two degrees, or ideally below.
“So we then have to follow up, this is the key, and ratchet up the commitments after the Paris conference,” he said.
Still reeling from the worst terrorist attacks in French history, Paris will host nearly 140 world leaders gathering next week to spearhead a climate pact tasked with keeping Earth liveable for humanity.