Prince Charles has taken up the role of new President for the World Wild Fund for Nature and in a key note speech Wednesday has told the world that it must look to solve the problems of climate change if it does not want to risk extinction.

Prince Charles has taken up the position of President from Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, a post she held for 30 years. The WWF has confirmed that Prince Charles will be working on a number of initiates each year in a bid to both lobby and promote the interests of the WWF.

In his key note speech, Prince Charles has warned governments that mankind could face extinction if it fails to tackle climate change and has told environmentalists to stand up and be counted in a bid to avoid the 'sixth great extinction.'

"We are, of course, witnessing what some people call the sixth great extinction event - the continued erosion of much of the Earth's vital biodiversity caused by a whole host of pressures, from the rising demand for land to the corrosive effects of all kinds of pollution," Prince Charles said.

Alluding to his "spiritual connection to nature", the Prince also said mankind must also protect other species from extinction.

"It may not seem to make much difference economically if the swallows, swifts and house martins no longer turn up each spring, but what would life be like if we just accepted their extinction because their habitats have been destroyed?" He added.

The Prince has also warned governments that they can't continue with the attitude of 'business as normal' because such an attitude could lead to the destruction of the human race. Prince Charles has also voiced concern over the receding arctic sea ice cap that the Prince hopes will be the issue that prompts the world to think about what it is doing to the planet.

For history will not judge us by how much economic growth we achieve in the immediate years ahead, nor by how much we expand material consumption, but by the legacy we leave for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip was the first ever President of WWF in the UK, from 1961 to 1981, and is now President Emeritus of WWF International.