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’Last chance’: Prince Charles’ blunt warning

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Prince Charles has provided an occasional lecture by a member of the royal family where he warned world leaders it’s “the last chance saloon”. Prince Charles has given a rare address by a member of the royal family where he warned world leaders it’s “the last chance saloon”. Speaking in Rome at the G20 summit, ahead of the UN climate summit, host Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, Prince Charles, and Pope Francis all called on G20 leaders — and by extension, the broader Group of world leaders meeting in Glasgow — to think big. Prince Charles, a committed environmentalist and summit guest, had also reminded leaders of their “overwhelming responsibility” to keep climate change in check.

The heir to the throne, who warned the “future of humanity and nature herself is at stake”, will also deliver the opening address at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow. “It is impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you, ladies and gentlemen, as the stewards of the planet, holding the viability of their future in your hands,” the heir to the British throne told the G20. “As you know, listening is often more important than speaking. I have listened closely to leaders of many countries, particularly Commonwealth nations whose communities are some of the most climate-vulnerable on this Earth.

“It is also impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you, ladies and gentlemen, as the stewards of the planet, holding the viability of their future in your hands.” Draghi called climate change “the defining challenge of our times”, saying: “Either we act now… or we delay acting, pay a much higher price later, and risk failing.” Pope Francis later tweeted: “This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities… The time to act, and to act together, is now!” President Xi Jinping of China, as was Russia’s Vladimir Putin, was absent from the meeting, although they participated via video link.

Prince Charles

Nearly 200 nations are gathering in the Scottish city, with many of the leaders in Rome — including US President Joe Biden — heading straight there. The Rome summit had to “do its utmost” to ensure the success of Glasgow, but “nothing is ever written before a COP”, French President Emmanuel Macron told the weekly Journal du Dimanche. “Let’s not forget that in Paris, in 2015, nothing was decided in advance,” he said. By far the world’s biggest carbon polluter, China plans to make its economy carbon neutral before 2060 but has resisted pressure to offer nearer-term goals. India, meanwhile, argues that if net zero by 2050 is the global goal, then rich countries should be carbon neutral ten years earlier to allow poorer emerging nations a larger carbon allowance and more time to develop.

G20 agrees on a 1.5-degree target

Leaders committed to the critical goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and pledged action on the use of coal but fell short of a target of zero emissions, according to a final draft communique. According to a draft communique obtained by AFP, which several sources said was the last version to be published later Sunday, the leaders agreed to keep key commitments at the landmark 2015 Paris accords in play. The pledges by the Group of 20 major economies, which emit nearly 80 percent of carbon emissions, are viewed as crucial to the success of make-or-break UN climate talks taking place in Glasgow over the next fortnight.

“Keeping 1.5 degrees within reach will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries, taking into account different approaches,” it says. Diplomats said the language used was more challenging than the Paris deal, but activist groups slammed the final statement as “weak” and half-hearted. According to the report, leaders of countries including the US, China, India, Russia, and the EU call for clear national plans that “align long-term ambition with short- and medium-term goals and international cooperation and support”. But experts say meeting the 1.5-degree target means slashing global emissions nearly in half by 2030 and to “net-zero” by 2050 — and there is no firm date in the G20 communique, which speaks only of reaching the goal of net-zero “by or around mid-century”. The leaders did agree to end funding for new unabated coal plants abroad — those whose emissions have not gone through any filtering process — by the end of 2021.

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