The Prince of Wales has marked the Red Cross’s first international summit on climate change.
Charles delivered a video message to open the virtual gathering, which is bringing together thousands of humanitarians, activists, decision-makers and volunteers from around the globe.
The prince, who is president of the British Red Cross, warned as part of the Climate.Red event that the world is facing a catastrophic climate emergency.
He said: “We simply cannot sit back and wait for the climate to change around us, and just accept these disasters as an inevitability.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated in recent months, we need to be on the front foot – preparing for what is ahead and making good decisions in advance.”
Charles stressed: “I have been talking for many years about the truly grave consequences of not acting on the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“It is now, at last, more widely accepted that these challenges will heavily impact future generations.
“But many people still do not seem fully to understand that it is impacting our lives today in alarming ways.
“And for the most vulnerable, this is catastrophic.
“From homes being destroyed by severe flooding, to farmers struggling to feed their families after failed harvest upon failed harvest, we are all united by the climate emergency – right now.”
Hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the summit involves more than 200 sessions from September 9-10.
The prince added: “The experience of Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers at the community level in countries all over the world can play an invaluable role in helping to determine the new and sustainable trajectory we should take.
“This is why this summit is so important as, collaborating together, we can work with real urgency to transform our world for the better and limit the damaging effects of climate change on the most vulnerable communities that you serve.”