At­ten­bor­ough in cli­mate warn­ing

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NATIONAL -

SIR DAVID AT­TEN­BOR­OUGH has is­sued a stark warn­ing that the col­lapse of civil­i­sa­tions and ex­tinc­tion of much of the nat­u­ral world is “on the hori­zon” with­out ac­tion to tackle cli­mate change.

The nat­u­ral­ist and TV pre­sen­ter de­liv­ered a mes­sage from peo­ple around the world to United Na­tions cli­mate talks in Ka­tow­ice, Poland, calling for lead­ers and de­ci­sion-mak­ers to take charge on driv­ing down green­house gas emis­sions.

Sir David was speak­ing on be­half of the UN’s “Peo­ple’s Seat” ini­tia­tive to give or­di­nary peo­ple a voice at the in­ter­na­tional talks by gath­er­ing their thoughts, ideas and con­cerns through so­cial me­dia and polling in the past two weeks.

He said the world is fac­ing its “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.”

And he said: “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 sup­port­ing you in mak­ing tough de­ci­sions but they’re also will­ing to make sac­ri­fices in their daily lives.”

The UN has launched an “Ac­tNow.bot” which helps peo­ple dis­cover sim­ple ev­ery­day ac­tions they can take to tackle cli­mate change.

United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res warned ne­go­tia­tors at the meet­ing that the world was “in deep trou­ble” with cli­mate change.

“Cli­mate change is run­ning faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later, be­fore it’s too late. For many peo­ple, re­gions and even coun­tries, this is al­ready a mat­ter of life and death.”

He also said that “cli­mate ac­tion is not just the right thing to do, it makes so­cial and eco­nomic sense”, point­ing to how ac­tion to cut emis­sions will curb air pol­lu­tion deaths and gen­er­ate mil­lions of jobs and tril­lions of dol­lars.

The speeches come af­ter four for­mer pres­i­dents of the an­nual UN cli­mate talks warned the “world is at a cross­roads” and de­ci­sive ac­tion in the next two years would be cru­cial to tackle the threat of cli­mate change.

In a joint state­ment, France’s Lau­rent Fabius, Frank Bain­i­marama, from Fiji, Sala­hed­dine Me­zouar, from Morocco, and Peru’s Manuel Pul­gar Vi­dal said: “The chal­lenges are there, as are the so­lu­tions.

“We re­quire deep trans­for­ma­tions of our economies and so­ci­eties to build a bet­ter world for all. This must be pow­ered by mul­ti­lat­eral co-op­er­a­tion.”

They called for am­bi­tious de­ci­sions which are suf­fi­ciently de­tailed and com­pre­hen­sive to en­able the ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion of the Paris Agree­ment, se­cured three years ago in the French cap­i­tal to curb global warm­ing.

The World Bank has an­nounced it is dou­bling in­vest­ments in cli­mate ac­tion with $200 bil­lion (£157 bil­lion) for 2021-2025.

TV pre­sen­ter and nat­u­ral­ist Sir David At­ten­bor­ough has is­sued a stark warn­ing about cli­mate change

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