Charles in climate change warning
The Prince of Wales has urged world leaders to adopt a better, more integrated approach to issues like climate change.
In a pre-recorded speech to a UN sustainability conference in Brazil, he warned of the potentially "catastrophic" consequences of inaction on issues such a climate change and global food security.
In the video address, shown to the Rio+20 High Level Dialogue on Global Sustainability, Charles said: "I have watched in despair at how slow progress has sometimes been and how the outright, sceptical reluctance by some to engage with the critical issues of our day have often slowed that progress to a standstill.
"Already levels of CO2 have exceeded 400 parts per million; 450 parts per million is the tipping point we have to avoid so every day of delay threatens to make the change more dramatic."
He added that scientific evidence shows the potential consequences and warned we can no longer ignore the risk. He said: "One thing is clear. We need to be much more informed about the actual state of the planet. We do not have nearly enough knowledge on which to base the decisions that will be the best for the long term.
"Until we do, we expose ourselves to the mounting danger of major shifts in policy that are not well conceived, but come as panicked responses to crises that could have been avoided."
Pointing to the work of his International Sustainability Unit (ISU), a foundation set up to campaign on global sustainability, Charles said a better picture of environmental problems was needed before effective policy could be implemented.
He said data on energy, water, biodiversity, forestry and soil, which is collected separately, needed to be combined and and analysed as a whole. "If this could happen, at least then we would know what the state of the planet actually is - and then plan accordingly," he said.
Charles added: "We do not have long to capture such a comprehensive picture, and so I would appeal to you as you meet here in Rio to make an even greater and concerted effort to persuade policy and decision-makers to act before it is finally too late."
Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) takes place this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro. It is attended by heads of state and representatives from governments, NGOs and the private sector.