prince charles cop15
Prince Charles speaks at the COP15 climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009 Getty

Prince Charles has linked climate change to the conflict in Syria and the refugee crisis in an interview with Sky News. The Prince of Wales has long been known as a campaigner for tackling climate change and a champion of environmental issues.

On the Syrian conflict, the Prince said: "There's very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land."

Suggestions that climate change was a factor in the violence in Syria come from a study published in May which said a drought in the country between 2006-2009 caused by global warming created a huge and unstable demographic shift after an estimated 1.5 million people fled the arid countryside for the cities.

The interview, to be shown on Sky at 8pm on 23 November, was recorded before the Paris attacks. It is the only interview with the prince before the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, where he will be delivering a keynote speech.

When asked about the financial implications of tackling climate change, the prince said: "The trouble is if we don't, it's going to get so much worse, then life will become very, very complicated indeed... we've been putting so much pressure on the natural systems and all those aspects of nature that we take for granted.

"Do we really have to face catastrophes and chaos before we understand that real action needs to be taken?"

Talking about the UN climate talks due to start in Paris at the end of November, the prince said it would be very difficult to get the necessary agreements but that the international community had to "follow up... and ratchet up the commitments after the Paris conference".