Charles on the ‘climate crunch’

Prince Charles has warned humans are facing “a battle for our very survival”.

Charles – on an official visit to Indonesia to promote his Rainforest Project – says people need to rally together to demand world leaders act to tackle the biggest problem facing mankind – saving the rainforests.

The 59-year-old royal said: “We risk provoking a crisis between man and nature and that is what I fear we are beginning to see all around us.

“Now is the time for the whole world to come together as one to find a solution.

“We have just proved we can do it to tackle the global financial crisis. The credit crunch is causing real pain to countless people across the world. The ‘climate crunch’, however, will affect every man, woman and child on this planet.

“If left unchecked it will change the economic, social and physical geography of our world in ways that we can barely begin to imagine.”

Charles – who has campaigned for the rainforests for 40 years and set up the project last year – has also called for rich countries to pay a “utility bill” which would be used to aid rainforests and stop deforestation.

Outlining his funding plan, Charles explained in a speech to Indonesian President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his cabinet: “These emergency funds could be provided directly by developed world governments, perhaps from expanded development aid budgets, from surcharges on activities which cause climate change or from the auction of carbon market emission allowances.

“However, I hope that even in the short term the large part of the required funding could be provided by the private sector by subscribing to long-term bonds issued by an international agency.

“The issuing entity would pay the proceeds from the bonds to the rainforest nations. They in turn would use the money to re-orientate their economies to halt or refrain from deforestation.”

Despite admitting he has been pleased with the reception his campaigning has received, Charles has vowed not to give up pressing for change.

He added: “I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure this future is not snatched from our children and grandchildren. As never before, we are the masters of our fate.”