The Prince of Wales issued the warning in a video address from Birkhall at Balmoral. Charles has been a longstanding advocate for tackling climate change, backing numerous charities and projects. The Prince has also met with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, throwing support behind her.
In the video address for the opening of Climate Week, Charles called for “swift and immediate action” on the climate crisis.
The week long summit, which starts on Monday, will be opened by the Prince, who is expected to make calls for more sustainable practices.
He added the coronavirus pandemic had given the world a “window of opportunity” to change the economy to help make a more “sustainable and inclusive future”.
Charles said: “Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to ‘reset’ for… a more sustainable and inclusive future.”
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Charles went on to say the ongoing climate crisis poses a greater threat to the world than the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “The crisis has been with us for far too many years – decried, denigrated and denied.
“It is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Charles previously tested positive for coronavirus in March, which forced him to self-isolate in his Birkhall home.
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Prince Charles news: Charles has been a longstanding advocate for tackling global warming
Charles has called on members of the Commonwealth to tackle climate change together in 2019.
He addressed foreign Commonwealth ministers at a reception in Clarence House to urge the importance of climate initiatives.
He said: 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.”
Charles then added: “I truly believe that the Commonwealth is uniquely positioned to join forces and lead the world by example.”
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Charles also urged businesses and political leaders to embrace an environmentally sustainable future in January.
In a keynote speech in Davos, Switzerland, Charles claimed 2020 could be “the year we put ourselves on the right track” and for the private sector to “lead the world out of the approaching catastrophe into which we have engineered ourselves”.
He added: “Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink, in trying to restore the balance, when we could have done? I don’t want to.
“Just think for a moment, what good is all the extra wealth in the world gained from business as usual if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions.”
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Charles met Ms Thunberg at the Davos summit, with the Prince describing the activist as “remarkable”
He added to CNN at the time: “She represents one of the main reasons why I’ve been trying to make all this effort all these years.
“I’ve always worried about the fact that so often, in terms of humanity, we leave things too late so you have to hit a brick wall and experience a catastrophe before anything happens.”
The coronavirus pandemic caused lockdowns across the world leading to a huge drop in greenhouse gases and air pollutants, but a study from the University of Leeds claimed it would have a “negligible” effect on global warming.