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Royal urges action on environment

Prince Charles does not want to be reprimanded by future grandchild

Prince Charles is the founder of The Prince’s Rainforest Group to find a solution to save the world’s threatened forests. Photo: PA

Prince Charles is the founder of The Prince’s Rainforest Group to find a solution to save the world’s threatened forests. Photo: PA

The Prince of Wales has spoken about how the prospect of becoming a grandfather is spurring his environmental beliefs, saying he does not want to “hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world”.

We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem

Prince Charles, an outspoken campaigner on environmental issues, told ITV’s This Morning that he did not want the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s child, due to be born next summer, to ask him why he had not done more to tackle climate change.

In an interview at Clarence House with presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, to be broadcast today, he said: “I’ve gone on for years about the importance of thinking about the long-term in relation to the environmental damage, climate change and everything else.

“We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem.

“I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and (have) them say: ‘Why didn’t you do something?’ So clearly now that we will have a grandchild, it makes it even more obvious to try and make sure we leave them something that isn’t a total poisoned chalice.”

Prince Charles spoke as he backed This Morning’s You Can Be Heroes Week, which aims to capitalise on the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and create a new army of volunteers across the UK.

He said in December he was “thrilled” at the prospect of becoming a grandfather, after William and Kate announced the Duchess was expecting their first child. Prince Charles has been a strong advocate of taking action to protect the environment for many years. In 2007 he set up The Prince’s Rainforest Group to find a solution to save the world’s threatened forests.

He addressed a UN international climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and the following year he gave a keynote speech to the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference.

In a wide-ranging interview with the ITV daytime show he also reiterated his worry about Prince Harry, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, something he also did at the “Millies” military awards last month.

“If you are a parent or relation to a loved one and that person is away in these incredibly dangerous and challenging circumstances, I know you worry all the time,” he said.

“Every night I worry. But he (Prince Harry) loves doing what he’s doing and he’s brilliant at it.”

He added: “I constantly meet the families of those who have lost their sons, husbands, brothers or sisters... and I have some understanding at least of what they go through.”

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