Prince Charles Warns International Leaders That The World Only Has 18 Months Left To Halt Climate Change

Isabel Leah Cohen

During his speech at the Reception for Commonwealth Foreign Ministers, Prince Charles stressed the importance of critical U.N. meetings that are set to take place before the end of 2020 in halting climate change before it becomes completely out of our control, reported the BBC.

"I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported last year that to be able to prevent the rise of global temperatures beyond 1.5 Celsius before the end of this century, global carbon emissions would need to be cut 45 percent by 2030. However, in order to successfully make this drastic cut, critical political steps would need to occur before the end of 2020.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Climate Institute has specifically addressed this short window of time.

The next global climate summit to take place will be in New York on September 23, called by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The summit will gather representatives from countries all around the world willing to make significant improvements to their nation's carbon-cutting plans.

The next summit will be the COP25, which will take place in Santiago, Chile, to follow up on plans made at the U.N. summit.

Other plans, such as the green deal in the U.S. and U.K. legislation for zero emissions by 2050, hope to also contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and as a result, the reduction of global temperatures.

Belize Ambassador Janine Felson, who serves as chief strategist for the Alliance of Small Island States group in the U.N., shared Prince Charles's call to take urgent action by the end of 2020.

"Our group of small island developing states share Prince Charles's sense of the profound urgency for ambitious climate action," she said. "All at once we are witness to a collective convergence of public mobilization, worsening climatic impacts and dire scientific warnings that compel decisive climate leadership. Without question, 2020 is a hard deadline for that leadership to finally manifest itself."