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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 17:35 GMT
Prince in green plea to UK firms
Prince Charles
Prince Charles addressed leaders of small businesses
The Prince of Wales has urged small UK firms to become greener and suggested climate change was the world's greatest threat ahead of terrorism.

He asked 60 Confederation of British Industry members to be more energy efficient so as to boost profits and protect their grandchildren's future.

By using energy wisely and harnessing technology, firms could cut emissions and stay competitive, he insisted.

"We need to address these issues now. It is already late," said the prince.

He quoted risk management expert John Coomber who said climate change was "the number one risk in the world, ahead of terrorism and demographic change".


"I think he has got a point," Prince Charles told the meeting at the CBI's London headquarters.

Mr Coomber is a director of reinsurance firm Swiss Re, which assesses financial risk and looks to the future.

The prince noted that the European Environmental Protection Agency reported in 2005 that 1.8bn could be saved by industry through energy efficiency

"It does seem to me, and quite a lot of other people, that unless we really address this energy issue as the first step we will not really get anywhere with this challenge," he said.

"It is an absolutely crucial issue, with all of these things being taken for granted. We need to address these issues now. It is already late in the day."

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