DUBAI: In an impassioned call for action, King Charles III on Friday urged participants at the COP28 climate conference to take swift and resolute steps to protect the planet, reported German news agency (dpa).

The world’s hopes rest on heads of state and government, the British monarch said in Dubai. He expressed a desire for COP28 to be a “critical turning point towards genuine transformational action”.

“The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth,“ Charles stressed on the second day of the event, which runs until Dec 12.

He also warned against indifference to the ecological damage being done. “Records are now being broken so often that we are perhaps becoming immune to what they are really telling us,“ said Charles, citing data from researchers on ever warmer temperatures.

“We are carrying out a vast, frightening experiment of changing every ecological condition, all at once, at a pace that far outstrips nature’s ability to cope.”

Despite some progress, warning signs of climate change are still being ignored, the 75-year-old king noted. “Some important progress has been made, but it worries me greatly that we have lost our way so terribly.”

The amount of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere has increased enormously, which can have devastating consequences for livelihoods around the world, he said.

Charles has for decades advocated for the environment and nature, and opened the COP21 in Paris in 2015 while still heir to the throne. As king, however, he can no longer express himself as pointedly as before, as he is obliged to maintain strict political neutrality.

A few weeks ago, Charles had to announce controversial plans by Britain’s Conservative government to massively expand oil and gas production in the North Sea. - Bernama, dpa

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