From: The Press Association
The Prince of Wales has called for "an emergency package to halt deforestation" to be developed in time for the international climate summit in Copenhagen later this year.
Charles was addressing staff at a visit to the Met Office headquarters in Exeter, Devon. Highlighting his concerns about deforestation, particularly in the Amazon, the Prince called for action ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Conference to be held in Denmark in December.
He said: "When you think about it, the rainforests have a huge impact on global CO2 emissions. A fifth of CO2 pollution is from deforestation - that's what deforestation produces.
"So one of the things I have been trying to do is put together a partnership of the public, private and NGO (non-governmental organisation) sectors to see if there's a way in which we can provide a solution, and we have come up with various proposals.
"But if by the time we reach Copenhagen in December there's a means by which we can introduce an emergency package to halt deforestation - or bring it under control - not only would it actually buy us time in the battle against climate change because of the services provided by those rainforests, but also it would help very substantially to make a difference to the lives of many of the poorest people on this Earth."
The Prince urged for "a precautionary approach" to combat climate change, based on common sense and not just scientific solutions.
He said: "It's one of the things I have been trying to say for many years - that the precautionary approach, the precautionary principle, is not a bad one to follow. At the moment it seems to me we have been busily testing the world to destruction, carrying out a gigantic experiment with the world and with our climate."
He added: "But to fix it just through technological fixery, geoengineering or whatever, it simply will not be enough and it won't be able to be put in quickly enough."
As part of the Prince's visit he spent 50 minutes in discussion with world leading climate scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, discussing geo-engineering and the fate of the Amazon rainforest.