Syrian war linked to climate change drought, says Prince Charles

The Syrian war is linked to climate change which triggered the devastating drought that hit the country from 2006 to 2009, said Prince Charles in an exclusive interview with Sky News ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The Prince of Wales, next in line to the British throne, believes that current terrorism and the refugee crisis have their roots on that severe drought, which he insists was probably caused by climate change.

The majority of scientists across the world believe climate change, also known as global warming, is happening, and is caused by human activity.

Prince Charles climate changePrince Charles spoke at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit. In this latest interview, he said that summit ended in disaster. (Image: UN photos)

A special programme, Climate Crisis: Prince Charles Speaks Out, will go on air on Sky News at 8pm tonight on Sky channel 501, Freeview channel 132, Virgin Media channel 602, and Freesat channel 202.

We aren’t addressing the problem

In the interview, which took place three weeks ago, before the terrorist attacks that killed at least 130 people in Paris, Prince Charles said:

“We’re seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem, because, I mean, it sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 years ago that if we didn’t tackle these issues, you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought, and the accumulating effect of climate change, which means that people have to move.”

“And, in fact, there’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land.”

When the interviewer asked him whether there was a direct link between climate change, terrorism and conflict, the Prince of Wales responded:

“It’s only in the last few years that the Pentagon has actually started to pay attention to this. I mean, it has a huge impact on what is happening.”

Short-term measures not enough

He warned that global warming is only being addressed with short-term measures, thus leaving the ‘underlying root cause’ of what humans are doing to their natural environment neglected.

Syrian droughtAccording to the United Nations, the Syrian drought of 2006-2009 pushed millions of people into poverty. (Image:

Prince Charles, who has been campaigning for measures to address climate change for the last forty years, is to deliver a keynote speech at the Paris Summit next Monday, November 30th. On that day, about 137 world leaders are expected to be in the French capital.

The majority of leaders, not wanting to be singled out for not standing shoulder-to-shoulder with France in a show of solidarity against terrorist threats, are not likely to cancel their trip.

The Prince of Wales fears we are heading towards ‘catastrophes and chaos’ if we do not take the rise in global atmospheric and ocean temperatures much more seriously and urgently.

Nature’s bank is going bust

When asked whether the world has the financial resources to address the issues, he andwered:

“The trouble is if we don’t, it’s going to get so much worse, then life will become very, very complicated indeed. The difficulties in 2008 with the financial crash – that was a banking crisis.”

“But we’re now facing a real possibility of nature’s bank going bust. If you see it like that, we’ve been putting so much pressure on the natural systems and all those aspects of nature that we take for granted.”

Paris Climate Change Conference 2015Prince Charles hopes the Paris Summit will be different, but sounded doubtful in the interview.

“Obviously I try to be as optimistic as possible, but sometimes you think that – do we really have to face catastrophes and chaos before we understand that real action needs to be taken? The difficulty is that by the time you try to take the action, it’s already too late.”

Prince Charles doubts COP21 will have effective outcome

Prince Charles expressed doubts regarding any effective outcome from the forthcoming Paris Summit. He wonders whether countries will reach agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

After so many annual conferences without much to show for them, the Prince hopes things may turn out different this year, but appeared slightly pessimistic.

Prince Charles added:

“I haven’t been to all of them, but I went to Copenhagen in 2009 and that really ended in disaster, frankly, which is a total tragedy because we’ve lost all those years in between. There’s a lot to catch up on.”

Video – Prince Charling urging climate change action

A message from Prince Charles at the launch of Climate Wekk at the UN Seceretary General’s Summit in New York last year.