KEY POINTS

  • Prince Charles penned a new essay addressing the environment and the issue of climate change
  • He honored Prince Philip's efforts to identify the damage being done to the planet
  • He also praised his sons Prince William and Prince Harry's conservation efforts

Prince Charles praised his late father Prince Philip and his two sons Prince William and Prince Harry in a new essay for their work addressing climate change.

The Prince of Wales penned a new essay addressing the environment and the issue of climate change for Newsweek's Jan. 4 issue.

In his first essay for an American publication in over a decade, Queen Elizabeth's son warned that the world is "on the brink" of environmental catastrophe and likened the impact of global warming to the threat of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963.

Prince Charles then paid tribute to Prince Philip for his late father's efforts to identify the damage being done to the planet through the World Wildlife Fund. 

"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 wrote. "That view has shifted in the intervening decades, though all too slowly, and, even today, lacks the urgency needed."

The future king went on to praise his sons Prince William and Prince Harry's conservation efforts.

Prince Charles highlighted the Duke of Cambridge's Earthshot Prize, a global prize that awards grants to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism, as well as the Duke of Sussex's work in Africa to address the impact of climate change on the continent.

"As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognized this threat," Prince Charles continued. "Most recently, my elder son, William, launched the prestigious Earthshot Prize to incentivize 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 Prince of Wales also described in his essay the impact climate change has had on various countries that he's visited over the past several years.

Prince Charles noticed the "depleting levels of water" in Jordan, considered one of the most water-poor countries in the world, and the devastating impact of climate change on water and agriculture in Egypt's Nile Delta, which he said is "now one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth."

The prince also talked about the fears of the people of Barbados about the rising sea levels and the resulting threat posed to their country’s very existence.

"The world is on the brink, and we need the mobilizing urgency of a war-like footing if we are to win," he stressed.

Prince Charles said the challenge right now is to put nature and "our singular and fragile planet" at the center of the way people live, work and do business in order to "create the brightest possible future for humanity."

"The eyes of our children and grandchildren are judging us," Prince Charles wrote, concluding the essay. "As we enter a new year, there is not a moment to lose."

In October last year, Prince William announced that his next Earthshot Prize ceremony will be held in the U.S. in 2022.

Last year's winners included the Republic of Costa Rica's Protect and Restore Nature, a scheme in which local citizens are paid to restore natural ecosystems, and Clean our Air, a cutting-edge technology from India that creates fuel from agricultural waste and puts a stop to the global air problem of crop burning.

Each winner received £1 million ($1.4 million) from the Royal Foundation to help them scale up their innovation.

Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William pose for a photo with members of the Military Wives Choir at the Business in the Community (BITC) 2014 Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on July 8, 2014 in London. Photo: Getty Images/Dominic Lipinski