Prince Charles of UK has said the world is at a defining moment, environmentally speaking. Unless urgent action is taken on the climate change front, it could be all round disaster.
A known environmental enthusiast, he delivered his most impassioned and urgent plea yet on the need for the world to unite to tackle global warming.
"The best projections tell us that we have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change, " he told 200 business leaders in Rio de Janeiro..
Advertisement"As the world's economy heads further into recession, it would be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture; to commit the sin, as we say in England and if you will pardon the terrible pun, of 'not seeing the wood for the trees'. For we are, I fear, at a defining moment in the world's history.
"We are facing a series of challenges so immense that we can, perhaps, be forgiven for feeling they are all too forbidding to confront."
In his speech, Prince Charles quoted Chico Mendes, the great Brazilian environmentalist, who said we are all "fighting for humanity."
The Prince said there is not necessarily a clash between the interests of big business and the environment. He argued that being green can be good for businesses and create jobs.
He ended his speech by saying: "For, in making progress here (in Brazil), you are providing immense and invaluable contributions to humanity as a whole. Therefore I can only pray with all my heart that the international collaborations you are engaged with in protecting your forests, and in promoting sustainable development meet with unqualified success.
"If we can redouble our efforts to unite the world in meeting perhaps its greatest and most critical challenge, then we may yet be able to prevail and thereby to avoid bequeathing a poisoned chalice to our children and grandchildren. But we only have 100 months to act."
The Prince's speech was timely coming only a day after scientists at the Met Office warned that climate change could kill the Amazon rainforest even if deforestation and emissions are curbed.
A climate change summit in Copenhagen was told that even small rises in temperature could destroy large swathes of the jungle. Changing rainfall patterns already under way could leave up to three quarters of the forest dry and withered by the middle of the next century.
On Saturday, the Prince will travel deep into the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, where he will meet local communities and political leaders.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) seems convinced that the Prince's passion to protect the environment is greatly respected abroad and that, as he inevitable moves closer to becoming king, he can play an increasingly important role for Britain on the foreign stage.
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