Prince Charles says 'this pandemic will not be the last' without tackling climate change

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read

Watch: Prince Charles calls on business and industry to lead climate crisis fight

The Prince of Wales has said he believes there will be more pandemics unless climate change is tackled.

Prince Charles, 72, launched his Terra Carta – or Earth Charter – on Monday, encouraging companies to commit to putting the planet first.

In an interview with CNN, he said COVID-19 would not be the last pandemic if the climate situation is not tackled.

He said: “Planetary health and nature’s health is intimately linked to our own health.”

Charles explained the destruction of the natural world means “we are making ourselves ever more vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and problems”.

He added: “So this pandemic will not be the last one unless we are very careful, so that’s why it’s critical to heal the natural world as well as ourselves.

“This is why we can’t ignore it.”

Prince Charles on holiday in Bermuda, 23rd October 1970. On the left is the Prince's equerry, Nicholas Soames. (Photo by David Cairns/Express/Getty Images)
Prince Charles on holiday in Bermuda in 1970. He started his environmental campaigning the same year. (Express/Getty Images)

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Charles has been campaigning on environmental issues for more than 50 years, first making a speech warning about single use plastics in the 1970s.

While the environment and climate are seen as humanitarian issues now, they were once far more divisive and political.

Charles also commented on the US political situation during the interview, praising US president-elect Joe Biden for his commitment to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

He said: “As one of the greatest economies in the world, it’s absolutely critical to have the US involved and playing a key and essential part.

“So from that point of view the fact that it’s poised to rejoin – we hope – the Paris Agreement will make an enormous difference I think and help to leverage even further support around the world.”

Charles said many US companies had been keen to join his Terra Carta despite the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

CIRENCESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, wearing a mask visits the Royal Mail's Delivery Office in Cirencester to recognise the vital public services that the country's postal workers provide, especially during the coronavirus pandemic and in the run-up to Christmas on December 18, 2020 in Cirencester, England.  (Photo by Geoff Caddick - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Prince Charles wearing a face covering during a visit to the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Cirencester in December. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The heir to the throne also confirmed he will get the coronavirus vaccine when it is offered to him.

His mother, the Queen, has already had at least her first dose of the vaccine, as has her husband Prince Philip.

Charles is not believed to have any underlying health conditions so will have to wait until the government is vaccinating those in their 70s.

He said: “I think vaccination is critical to ensure we have a way out of this, otherwise it is going to be very difficult.”

Watch: Prince Charles and Camilla visit Covid vaccination centre