The world has 18 months to keep climate change at ‘survivable levels’, The Prince of Wales has warned, as he vowed to support the Commonwealth in its efforts to find a solution.

Speaking at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference reception at Clarence House yesterday, Prince Charles said the survival of humanity was dependent on forthcoming UN talks, which are set to take place across the world over the next year and a half.

“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,” he said.

“The next 18 months will see critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade.”

The Commonwealth is “uniquely positioned” to lead by example, he added, stating: “I stand ready to support you in these efforts and to seeing the Commonwealth at the forefront of a global solution”.

The meetings to which the Prince refers include the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit this September, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity set for Beijing, China next October, as well as the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government gathering in Kigali, Rwanda.

These meetings lead up to the Conference of the Parties next November – the annual UN conference on climate change, held between the 197 parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – which, the Prince hopes, will be hosted by London.

The world is currently battling global warming to keep the earth’s temperature from rising more than 1.5C, with reducing carbon emissions a key focus.

In his speech, the future head of the Commonwealth also paid tribute to the diversity of the organisation, highlighting how it is “perhaps its greatest strength”.

“This unity and strength will be vital in the years ahead” he added, “for, as you know only too well, we are facing unparalleled challenges caused by rapid climate change and biodiversity loss.”

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