THE Prince has spoken.

Two weeks ago, Prince Charles warned us that the world would need a Marshall-like plan to combat the climate crisis.

He went on to say that the COVID crisis might be as nothing compared with what is already beginning to happen as a result of global warming.

I can just about remember the Marshall plan, when the USA and others poured millions into rebuilding Europe after the devastation of war.

Prince Charles also said that the biodiversity and health crises are all symptoms of a planet that has been pushed beyond its boundaries.

The council has also spoken.

Last week, Somerset West and Taunton Council voted unanimously to declare an ecological emergency, in addition to the climate emergency it declared 18 months ago.

It thereby joins Mendip and South Somerset District Councils, which declared a double emergency in February 2019, leaving Sedgemoor District and Somerset County Councils with a single declaration (climate emergency).

The two issues - climate change and biodiversity - are not the same, but they are linked. For instance, a warmer climate is destroying many species on which life depends, and the destruction of our environment is contributing to rising global temperatures.

This may seem like a vicious circle, but it does give us an opportunity to find policies to tackle the problem from both ends, and to judge better whether policies are leading to sufficient practical action.

Declarations can just be big words. But they are a promise to the public, and can lead, by calling others to action.

Why don’t we now demand that our schools, supermarkets, car show rooms, banks, bus companies and house builders also declare an emergency and commit to consider both climate and ecology at every stage of their operations, and in a way that makes them part-accountable for how they leave the planet for our successors?

Grandparents for a Safe Earth