Prince Charles urges action on climate change

by Jun Hongo

The effects of climate change will be long-lasting and perhaps irreversible unless immediate and comprehensive action is taken to combat global warming, Britain’s Prince Charles said Tuesday in Tokyo.

Japan played a key role in drafting the 1997 Kyoto Protocol “but as we all know, much more needs to be done,” he said at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Koto Ward.

The prince and his wife, Camilla, arrived in Japan on Monday as government guests to mark the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Britain.

The prince used his speech — the only one scheduled during his five-day tour in Japan — to call for global unity on fighting climate change and preserving rain forests.

He warned that the survival of coastal cities, including London and Tokyo, will be threatened if temperatures continue to rise.

“The two key things, in my mind, are innovation and conservation,” he said, expressing hope the business sector will work to develop groundbreaking technology such as efficient solar panels to cut dependence on carbon-emitting energy.

The prince concluded his speech in Japanese with the phrase: “It is necessary to act now rather than to talk.”

He will visit Nara and Nagano before leaving Friday.