March 10, 2008
Rich countries need to do more to fight climate change because the worst-affected communities are often too poor to make the necessary changes, the Queen will say today.
She will use her annual message to the 53 countries in the Commonwealth to warn that environmental issues, such as the lack of clean water, could lead to future conflicts.
Her words are particularly aimed at the young, whom she says are leading the battle to save the planet.
However, there are doubts that her message will have as much impact as royal aides wish.
A survey for Saga magazine yesterday revealed that half of those aged 16 to 24 do not even know the Queen is head of the Commonwealth – compared with just one out of ten over-50s.
The monarch will say: “Awareness of environmental issues is now widespread, with a determination that future generations should enjoy clean air, sufficient fresh water and energy without risking damage to the planet.
“The impact of pollution falls unequally: it is often those who pollute the least – notably in the world’s least-developed nations – who are closest to the razor’s edge: most affected by the impact of climate change and least equipped to cope with it.”
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