Sir David Attenborough COP24 Photo: UNFCCC
Sir David Attenborough at COP24 Photo: UNFCCC

Attenborough warns extinction of natural world ‘on horizon’

December 3rd, 2018

The collapse of our civilisation and the extinction of much of the natural world are “on the horizon” if we don’t take concrete climate action now, Sir David Attenborough warned world leaders today.

Sir Attenborough was speaking at the COP24 opening ceremony this morning to launch the People’s Seat initiative.

The project will allow people to express their views on climate change through social media and digital technology.

The Address from Sir Attenborough was compiled based on inputs from the public gathered in the run-up to the conference through social media using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat.

The initiative aims to engage people from all walks of life around the globe in the growing momentum to take climate action in their personal lives.

“In the last two weeks,” Sir Attenborough said today, “the world’s people have taken part in creating this address, answering polls, creating videos and voicing their opinions.”

“They want you – the decision makers – to act now,” the British broadcaster said, and are “supporting you in making tough decisions”.

“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,” he said.

“Right now, we are 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,” he warned.

The initiative will now launch a Climate Action Facebook Messenger ActNow.bot that will recommend everyday changes that individuals can make in their lives to combat climate change – such as reducing meat consumption and taking public transit.

The initiative comes not long after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the alarm bells with its special report on 1.5 degrees of global warming.

The report warned that the world is headed towards a warming of over 3 degrees Celsius with current pledges under the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “We are already seeing dramatic impacts of climate change around the world with one degree of warming.

“COP24 needs to provide a robust response by quickly following through with what governments have agreed to do so that the Paris Agreement can unfold its full potential, namely to finalize its implementation guidelines.”

About the Author

Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London

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