- More universities should post a vice chancellor for climate change, prince says
- Planet's sustainability needs attention and study, Charles adds
- He doesn't comment on fossil fuels and carbon emissions causing global warming
Britain's Prince Charles endorsed a new administrative post devoted to climate change at a prominent African university on Saturday and urged conservationists and policy makers to study together the planet's sustainability.
"I, for one, have been incredibly heartened by Cape Town University's decision to appoint a pro vice chancellor for climate change -- an idea which I can only hope will catch on elsewhere!" the Prince of Wales said in a speech at South Africa's oldest university, founded in 1829.
Academicians ought to explore an economic system that will weather "the sorts of shocks that will, I am afraid, only become more frequent and more severe in the years ahead," the prince said. "To do so, we have to create a framework that is sensitive to the relationship which exists between food security, water security, energy security -- and, indeed, national security -- and to the issues of how human well being can be achieved without further loss to the planet's ecological integrity."
The prince's speech focused more on sustainability issues -- and didn't comment directly on the idea that fossil fuels and carbon emissions are causing global warming and climate change.
"What with the ever-growing need for more urban development and the pressure to produce more food, it is fast becoming difficult to maintain those essential services, such as the supply of clean water and, ultimately, to protect those areas that are rich in the diversity of life and which, whether we like it or not, are actually vital if nature is to continue sustaining herself and, therefore, us," Charles said. "Add into the mix the impact of climate change and suddenly all the risks to stability are multiplied."
The prince urged international organizations and summits "to bring together the narratives of climate change, sustainable development and economic stability -- surely the very bedrocks of national security," Charles said. "These are currently encapsulated -- although separately and distinctly -- in the forthcoming COP17 in Durban, the Rio+ 20 conference and G-20 meetings."
One starting point, he said, could examine data "on energy, water, agriculture, biodiversity and climate change to compose a full picture of what is actually going on, and then to use this picture to calculate the real cost of our current use of natural capital," the prince said.
"Surely an evaluation of that cost on an on-going basis is the bare minimum we need if we are to develop effective policies that address food security, poverty and climate change, and so build properly resilient economic systems -- green economies, if you will -- that have the capacity to adapt to what will, from now on, be very rapidly changing circumstances?" the prince said.