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David Attenbourough believes that we are facing a “man-made disaster” of global scale

The naturalist, Sir David Attenbourough, is the latest celebrity to call for immediate action on climate change.

Sir David Attenborough | by Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Attenborough spoke at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks opened in the Polish city of Katowice on December 3, and claims that climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years. He is acting as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.

Sir David believes that we are facing a “man-made disaster” of global scale. He said: “Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.” “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 past four years were the warmest on record and global emissions are rising again, when they need to fall by half by 2030, according to UN. Almost 200 nations are in Poland aiming to shape a vial agreement to turn the carbon-cutting vision set in Paris in 2015, into reality. Ramping up action is another key goal.

During his talk, Attenborough also encouraged everyone to use the UN’s new ActNow chatbot, designed to give people the power and knowledge to take personal action against climate change:


António Guterres, the UN secretary general, also spoke during the COP24 summit, claiming that climate change is running faster than humanity and action must be taken before it is too late. He explained how the leaders of this generation will be judged by their . He added: “For many, people, regions and even countries this is already a matter of life or death.”

Young activists from all over the world are in Poland, listening to these world leaders – ready to learn, and take action:

Positive reactions come from Attenborough’s speech:

Watch the UN climate change summit live:


For future action in the UK, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announced the first London Climate Action Week, taking place between 1-8 July 2019. For more information, click here.