Prince Charles meets Greta Thunberg as he calls global warming 'greatest ever threat'

22 January 2020, 14:13 | Updated: 22 January 2020, 16:14

Prince Charles has said climate change, global warming and loss of diversity are the "greatest threats humanity has ever faced" - as he met activist Greta Thunberg for the first time.

He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The prince said: "Now it is time to take it to the next level. In order to secure our future and to prosper we need to evolve our economic model."

He arrived in Switzerland in a fully electric Jaguar car and met teenage campaigner Thunberg after his speech.

In his keynote address, he said: "We are in the midst of a crisis that is now I hope well understood.

"Global warming, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced."

He told the audience: "Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink, in trying to restore the balance, when we could have done? I don't want to.

"Just think for a moment, what good is all the extra wealth in the world gained from business as usual if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions.

"This is why I need your help, your ingenuity and your practical skills to ensure that the private sector leads the world out of the approaching catastrophe into which we have engineered ourselves."

The annual meeting of business leaders, politicians and other figures is taking place in the Swiss mountain town until Friday.

Charles is at the event to promote the launch of the sustainable markets initiative "to work towards a more inclusive, equitable and green market for all".

On Tuesday, President Trump spoke at the summit and called those urging more action on climate change "perennial prophets of doom" and the "heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers".

Thunberg was among those watching Mr Trump, having earlier warned that planting trees is "nowhere near enough" - that followed Mr Trump's pledge to join a "one trillion trees" initiative.

The US president has long disputed the seriousness of climate change and in 2017 withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accord which aimed to cut CO2 emissions to a rate that will limit global warming to 1.5C.