Prince said that rebuilding the world from the devastating impact of the "dreadful" coronavirus pandemic presented an opportunity for those environmental causes.
Britain's Prince Charles said the recovery from the coronavirus crisis represented a "reset moment" for the world and was an opportunity to prioritise sustainability issues, as he made the opening remarks at a virtual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting.
The 71-year-old prince, who himself has recovered after suffering mild symptoms of COVID-19, has championed environmental causes for decades, warning that global warming and climate change were the greatest threats to humanity.
He said that rebuilding the world from the devastating impact of the "dreadful" coronavirus pandemic presented an opportunity for those environmental causes.
"We have a unique but rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to learn lessons and reset ourselves on a more sustainable path," Charles told the WEF meeting on Wednesday.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
He said that the pandemic, which due to lockdowns and restrictions has meant less industrial activity and travel, had showed people that dramatic change was possible.
"We have a golden opportunity to seize something good from this crisis. Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change," he added.
His speech was part of a launch event for "The Great Reset", a project involving the WEF and the Prince of Wales's Sustainable Markets Initiative, aimed at rebuilding the economic and social system to be more sustainable.
Unlike the disease, there are solutions to climate change, Charles said, mentioning renewable energy and through putting nature back at the centre of how people live their lives.
Using social media and a virtual hubs network, the WEF's Great Reset is aiming to involve young people across the world to help develop practical solutions and mobilise them to work towards a more sustainable way of life.
"I can only encourage us all to think big and act now," said Charles.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.