Grandfather to the natural world, Sir David Attenborough, has given an impassioned speech at the United Nations climate conference in Katowice, Poland.
The veteran naturalist and TV presenter, whose most recent series, Blue Planet II, focused on the destruction of the oceans by pollution, called on the world’s leaders to actually lead in the battle against man-made climate change.
Attenborough was given a ‘People’s seat’ at the two-week conference, alongside two dozen heads of state from around the world.
He used his platform to scold world leaders in the way only a 92-year-old career conservationist can.
‘We’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change.’ Sir David Attenborough https://t.co/mnv5BLTo72 Via @ReutersTV #COP24 pic.twitter.com/J1IkDl2OGx
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2018
We’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.
The United Nations provides a unique platform that can unite the whole world, and as the Paris Agreement proved, together we can make real change happen.
The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear: time is running out. They want you, the decision makers, to act now. They’re behind you, along with civil society represented here today, supporting you in making tough decisions, but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives.
The people have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world, upon which we depend, is in your hands.
According to SBS, the Katowice conference is the most important UN event since the Paris Accord in 2015 – the conditions of which were designed to prevent further climate disaster, and which we’re on track to drastically overshoot.
“All over the world there are people who are suffering as a consequence [of climate change] whose voices have not been heard” – Sir David Attenborough tells BBC after speech to UN Climate Conference #COP24 https://t.co/I8q5wL8Xs5 pic.twitter.com/obR9brUuuy
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 3, 2018
But Katowice comes ahead of an end-of-year-deadline for the UN to agree on a ‘rule book’ for enforcing action on climate change.
We’ve got thousands of Australian schoolkids taking to the streets to protest climate inaction, and we’ve got everyone’s surrogate grandpa making his disappointment very clear on a global stage. Now it’s up to all the people in the middle – looking at you, Boomer politicians – to actually do something. I like living on Planet Earth. The idea of there being nothing left for David Attenborough to narrate is a troubling one indeed.