By Ray Fleming

WHEN I reviewed Prince Charles' book Harmony in this newspaper last October I quoted his statement that “I am absolutely determined to be the defender of Nature. That is what the rest of my life is going to be concerned with.” Proof that he means what he says came yesterday when he addressed the Low Carbon Summit at the European Parliament. This speech was the first of a series that Prince Charles intends to make internationally and he gave it a boost with an article in The Times entitled “Wasting nature's capital means financial ruin. Economic and environmental resilience are interdependent. A low-carbon future is essential.”

Prince Charles began his article by listing all the natural disasters that have struck the earth in recent months and went on to argue the case for “decoupling economic growth from increased consumption in such a way that both the well being of Nature's ecology and our own economic needs benefit simultaneously.”

Obviously, Prince Charles's commitment to this cause is deep and he will be able to draw audiences to it. I found it a little odd, however, that neither in his speech nor in his Times article was the overriding need to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions mentioned -- most experts believe it to be the root cause of the natural disasters which he began his article by citing.