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The Prince of Wales is to issue a stark warning that nations have "less than 100 months to act" to save the planet from irreversible damage due to climate change.
Prince Charles will say that the need to tackle global warming is more urgent than ever before and that, even in a global recession, the world must not lose sight of the "bigger picture". His warning will be delivered on Thursday in a keynote speech in Rio de Janeiro.
Aides believe it will echo one he gave in Sao Paulo in 1991 at the start of the last recession, when he warned that caring for the world's long term welfare must not become a "luxury". The intervention will help to put the environment at the top of the political agenda ahead of the meeting of G20 leaders in London next month. The Prince starts a ten-day tour of South America today during which he will be playing an elevated role as an international statesman working on behalf of the Government to support British interests on key issues.