ABC News Online,
Posted Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:00pm AEDT
Prince Charles urged the world to fight climate change, saying that while the global credit crunch will be temporary, the effects of the "climate crunch" were irreversible.
The heir to the British throne issued his appeal on a visit to Tokyo, where he and his wife Camilla are marking the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Britain.
"Given the current turbulence in the international financial system and the immediate and damaging effect it is having on the whole world, the credit crunch is rightly a preoccupation of vast significance and importance," Charles said.
"But we take our eye off the 'climate crunch' at our peril," he said in a speech at Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
"While we hope and pray that the underlying strengths of the global economy will once again enable it to bounce back, the effects of climate change will be far from temporary and will, indeed, be irreversible," he said.
Global markets have been battered in recent weeks by a global crunch in credit as some of the world's top financial institutions crumble under the weight of toxic subprime housing loans.
Charles, who has long championed environmental causes, cited predictions by UN scientists that temperatures could rise by more than six degrees Celsius by 2100 if no action is taken.
Charles called it a "level unprecedented in human experience."
"The scale of the challenge is clear, nothing less than an urgent, full-scale transformation to a low-carbon society is needed," he said.