In the cover story for Newsweek's Jan. 4 issue, Charles' first essay for an American publication in over a decade, he describes the impact climate change has had around the globe, including the environmental degradation he's seen first-hand during visits to Jordan, Egypt and Barbados.
"I have seen at first-hand the impact of false dawns. In November, I travelled to Jordan and, standing at the Baptism site of Jesus, could see the depleting levels of water in what is already one of the most water poor countries in the world," he wrote. "In Egypt, who will preside over the next C.O.P. meeting, I heard about the devastating impact of climate change on water and agriculture in the Nile Delta, now one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth. Later that month, when I travelled to Barbados, I listened to peoples’ fears about the rising sea levels and the resulting threat posed to their country’s very existence.
"The world is on the brink," the Prince of Wales went on to stress, "and we need the mobilizing urgency of a war-like footing if we are to win."
Charles described some of his plan to do just that, sharing that, including a call to reduce emissions and control our ever-growing carbon footprint.
"What is clear is that our actions matter. We know what we need to do. With a growing population creating ever-increasing demand on the planet’s finite resources, we must reduce emissions and take action to tackle the carbon already in the atmosphere, including from fossil fuel and coal-fired power stations," Charles explained. "If we can put a proper value on carbon, we can make carbon capture solutions more economical."
Charles addressed his late father's efforts to identify the damage being done to the planet through the World Wildlife Fund, which he helped found.
"Sixty years ago, my late father identified the damage humankind was inflicting on the planet and helped to found the World Wildlife Fund. A decade later, when I first spoke publicly about the environment, many wondered if my sense of urgency was misplaced," he shared. "That view has shifted in the intervening decades, though all too slowly, and, even today, lacks the urgency needed."
He also praised his two sons for their work to combat climate change, highlighting Williams' Earthshot Prize and the work Harry's done in Africa to address the impact of climate change.
"As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognised this threat," Charles continued. "Most recently, my elder son, William, launched the prestigious Earthshot Prize to incentivise change and help repair our planet over the next 10 years...And my younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change, especially in relation to Africa, and committed his charity to being net zero."
The most pressing challenge now, wrote the Prince, is "putting nature, people and our singular and fragile planet at the heart of how we live, work and do business to create the brightest possible future for humanity."
"The eyes of our children and grandchildren are judging us," Charles wrote, concluding the essay. "As we enter a new year, there is not a moment to lose."
Charles' praise of his sons comes just two months after he was accused of questioning the skin color of Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle's children in the new book Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan. Though he has defended himself against those allegations, Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie told ET back in September that Harry's relationship between both his father and his brother William has become "distant" since his exit from his royal duties and his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.