prince_charles_cp_9693364

Prince Charles, pictured here in March 2006, urged 1,000 business executives in London to wage war against climate change. ((Barry Batchelor/Associated Press))

Prince Charles is calling on the world to wage war against climate change, likening it to Britain's battle against Nazi Germany.

"We can do it. Just think what they did in the last war. Things that seemed impossible were achieved almost overnight," the prince said at a business conference at his London residence, St. James Palace.

"I do not want my children and grandchildren, or anyone, for that matter, saying to me, 'Why didn't you do something when it was possible to make a difference and when you knew what was happening?'"

Charles told the 1,000 business executives, invited to the prince's business and climate summit, thatthings can't be "business as usual" because "the crisis of climate change is far too urgent and discussion simply isn't enough."

The 58-year-old heir to the throne is a longtime environmentalist.

Heruns an organic farm and has a line of organic foods, Duchy Originals.

He cancelled his annual ski holiday in Switzerland in order to reduce the number of airplane flights he takes, and hehas converted to biodiesel cars and provided bicycles to his London staff.

He recently received a Global Environmental Citizen prize from Harvard Medical School's Centre for Health and the Global Environment.

Charleswill also publish details of his lifestyle'simpact on the environment in this summer's annual review of his accounts.

The princesaid the summit was his way of issuing an emergency call.

"When I was serving in the Royal Navy … 'May Day, May Day, May Day' was the distress call used in cases of emergency. It still is —and this is an emergency we face."

With files from the Associated Press