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Charles urges using crisis ‘to reset our course putting people and planet first’

Andrew Matthews

By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Prince of Wales has said the coronavirus crisis can be used to “reset our course by putting people and planet first”, urging people to view the Earth as if it were a patient.

Heir to the throne Charles, who has been championing environmental issues for more than 50 years, said climate change was often seen as a distant threat.

But, in a message to mark Earth Day, he said the pandemic had shown the true nature of a global emergency and the drastic measures and urgency needed to take action.

The prince added: “The parallels between the human and the planetary condition in the coronavirus are quite clear.”

“If we look at the planet as if it were a patient, we can see that our activities have been damaging her immune system and she has been struggling to breathe and thrive due to the strain we have put on her vital organs.”

“To treat her, we need to restore balance and put nature back at the centre of the circle.”

Charles, who has recovered from the Covid-19 illness, highlighted the environmental changes the planet had experienced because of lockdowns around the globe.

“The slowdown of human and industrial activity has shown just how quickly the Earth can heal itself when we let it,” he said.

“We need only look to the improved air quality in some of the world’s major cities and the return of wildlife to our communities and waterways.”

Describing the protection of biodiversity as vital to human survival, he added: “It is, therefore, increasingly clear that when we care for our planet, we fundamentally care for ourselves.”

He urged people to share their vision for a more sustainable future online with the hashtag #ReimagineReset, adding: “Together, I am confident that we can use this crisis to reset our course by putting people and planet first.”

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