Prince Charles slams climate critics
Brussels - Britain's Prince Charles hit out on Wednesday at climate change doubters for playing a "reckless game of roulette" with Earth's future and urged Europe to take ambitious action against global warming.
The eco-friendly prince delivered his message at a "low-carbon" summit hosted by the European Parliament, calling on the EU to pledge a 30% reduction in harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020.
Charles denounced the "corrosive effect" on public opinion caused by climate change sceptics, who deny scientific evidence showing "beyond any reasonable doubt" that human industrial activity has exacerbated global warming.
"I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they actually failed their future," he said.
"I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach, for this plays I would suggest a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us?"
Flanked by EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, Prince Charles praised EU efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 from 1990 levels, but asked for more.
"I know that many in the EU aspire to agree a target of reducing greenhouse gasses by 30%, and I can only applaud their efforts," he said.
A majority of states in the 27-nation EU refuse to commit to a 30% cut in CO2 emissions as long as the world's top polluters, with the US topping the list, make similar pledges.
The British royal appealed for a "green economy" with zero-carbon buildings, stringent energy efficiency targets for cars and household goods, and more processing of waste.
"What you decide here could induce the very necessary adjustments we so urgently need to make," he told European lawmakers.
"So can I ask if you will be courageous enough to seize the moment, set Europe on a course for survival and economic prosperity and so earn the endless gratitude of our descendants."