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King Charles III speaks during the World Climate Action Summit Opening Session. Image Credit: COP28 / Christophe Viseux

Dubai: Britain’s King Charles said on Friday that Father of country (UAE) the late Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan advocated for clean energy at a time even before the United Arab Emirates, as such, came into being.

In an opening address to the COP28 UN climate summit, King Charles told world leaders the dangers of climate change were no longer a distant risk, and urged them to take more action.

“I have spent a large proportion of my life trying to warn of the existential threats facing us over global warming, climate change and biodiversity loss. But I was not alone. For instance, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s dear father, Sheikh Zayed, was advocating for clean energy at a time even before the United Arab Emirates, as such, came into being,” said King Charles.

However, all these decades later, and despite all the attention, there is 30 per cent more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there was back then, and almost 40 per cent more methane, he stated.

“Some important progress has been made, but it worries me greatly that we remain so dreadfully far off track as the Global Stocktake report demonstrates so graphically,” King Charles added.

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He warned country leaders that the world was “dreadfully far off track” on addressing climate change and that the global economy would be in peril unless the environment was rapidly repaired.

“I pray with all my heart that COP28 will be another critical turning point towards genuine transformational action,” he said, in reference to the 2015 summit held in France.

“We are seeing alarming tipping points being reached.”

After a year of record temperatures, the pressure is on for this year’s summit to accelerate action to limit climate change. “Countries, however, are divided over the future of fossil fuel, the burning of which is the main cause of climate change,” he said.

“As I have tried to say on many occasions, unless we rapidly repair and restore Nature’s unique economy, based on harmony and balance, which is our ultimate sustainer, our own economy and survivability will be imperiled,” he warned world leaders.