Prince slams climate change deniers

Times Series: The Prince of Wales addresses guests during a reception for the inaugural Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize at Buckingham Palace The Prince of Wales addresses guests during a reception for the inaugural Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize at Buckingham Palace

The Prince of Wales has criticised climate change deniers, labelling them the "headless chicken brigade" during an awards ceremony recognising a leading young green entrepreneur.

Charles, who has campaigned for years to reduce global warming, also spoke out against "the barrage of sheer intimidation" from powerful anti-climate change groups during the event held at Buckingham Palace last night.

He presented Gamal Albinsaid with the inaugural Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize, designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues.

In a speech to announce the winner, Charles told the invited audience of finalists, sustainability experts, entrepreneurs, business leaders and policy makers: "It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything - until, that is, it comes to climate science.

"All of a sudden, and with a barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong and we must abandon all our faith in so much overwhelming scientific evidence.

"So, thank goodness for our young entrepreneurs here this evening, who have the far-sightedness and confidence in what they know is happening to ignore the headless chicken brigade and do something practical to help."

He also told the guests: "As you may possibly have noticed from time to time, I have tended to make a habit of sticking my head above the parapet and generally getting it shot off for pointing out what has always been blindingly obvious to me.

"Perhaps it has been too uncomfortable for those with vested interests to acknowledge, but we have spent the best part of the past century enthusiastically testing the world to utter destruction; not looking closely enough at the long-term impact our actions will have."

Mr Albinsaid is the founder of the Indonesian social enterprise Garbage Clinical Insurance, an innovative project which helps the poorest communities gain access to health services and education through the collection and recycling of rubbish.

The international competition, developed in partnership with Unilever and the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), which has Charles as patron, was designed to find the next generation of sustainable-living entrepreneurs.

The winning entrepreneur's project will now benefit from a prize fund of just over £40,000 in financial support and a package of individually tailored mentoring from both CPSL and Unilever in the coming months.

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