The Prince of Wales said tackling climate change was “absolutely essential” as the country swelters in “alarming” temperatures.
During a speech at an outdoor event to mark his 70 years as Duke of Cornwall, Charles said national commitments to achieve net zero had ‘never been more vital’.
The country is experiencing an extreme heat wave, with thermometers topping 38C, leading to school closures, train services being cut and ambulance crews facing an increasing number of 999 calls.
The mercury hit 38.1C in Santon Downham, Suffolk, at 4pm on Monday, making it the hottest day of the year, while temperatures topped 37C in a number of others locations.
Charles has long campaigned on environmental issues and last fall told Cop26, the UN climate change summit, that the world is tired of talking and commitments must be put into practice.
Speaking at the end of a garden party in the grounds of Boconnoc House near Plymouth, the prince said: “If I may say so, these commitments around net zero have never been more vital as we choke all under today’s alarming record high temperatures across Britain. and Europa.
“As I have tried to indicate for some time, the climate crisis is truly a real emergency and addressing it is absolutely essential – for Cornwall, the country and the rest of the world.”
Cop26 chairman Alok Sharma, who led the historic UN climate change summit last year in Glasgow, has indicated he could step down if the next prime minister is not fully committed to the climate change agenda. net zero agenda.
He said in an interview with The Observer that while it was “absolutely a matter of leadership”, some of the remaining candidates in the Tory leadership race were only “lukewarm”.
Charles also spoke of his belief in the enduring elements of Nansledan, an extension of the Cornish coastal town of Newquay on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the private domain of property, investment and land which provides income to the ‘heir to the throne. .
He told the guest: “In the development of Nansledan, as well as in the Duchy’s new regenerative farming practices that will help us to hopefully meet our Net Zero Carbon commitments, we have only been able to do the progress we are making by working in partnership with our tenants, our suppliers and the people of Cornwall.
In a lighter moment, Charles joked about touring an agricultural show with its hearing-impaired chairman on one of his many trips to Cornwall over the past few decades.
He said: ‘There have been so many memorable visits over all these years – particularly to the Royal Cornwall Show – where, years ago, and at the time of then chairman Sir John Molesworth -St Aubyn, who was a wonderful character and extremely deaf, I remember asking him “if I could visit the tent of the bees”.
“After walking half way around the show grounds, following him, he led me to the toilet tent – the ‘pee tent!’ “”
During the garden party, the couple mingled with people from all walks of Cornish life, from tenant farmers in the Duchy of Cornwall to charity workers and members of the armed forces.
Earlier the couple had visited the quaint fishing village of Mousehole, near Penzance, where temperatures were around 10 degrees below the sweltering 38C in London and the South East.
The Duchess told locals: “It’s very cool here. It’s stuffy in London,” and joked, “I use my parasol. I think I’ll take off like Mary Poppins.
While Camilla kept the scorching sun at bay, the prince kept cool in his sunglasses and button-front suit.
Over the next few days, the couple will visit the county and neighboring Devon to mark 70 years since Charles became Duke of Cornwall when the Queen ascended the throne in 1952.