Naturalist and TV legend Sir David Attenborough has sent a dramatic message about the impact of climate change on the world, insisting there is now a pressing need to stand together to solve the growing issue, as he spoke at the recent UN Climate Change conference.
The 92-year-old took to the stage in Poland on Monday claiming climate change can no longer be ignored and that time is running out to save the world and its people.
Speaking directly to the leaders of the world, at what is being described as the most important climate change meeting since the 2015 Paris agreement, the English broadcaster said action must be taken before it is too late.
“Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years, climate change,” he told attendees at the 24th Conference of the Parties. “If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of our world is on the horizon.”
Attenborough, who was acting as the link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting, continued by adding how the issue is in the hands of the leaders.
“The world’s people have spoken, their message is clear, time is running out,” he explained. “They want you, the decision markers, to act now. They’re behind you, along with civil society represented here today.
“The people have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world, on which we depend, is in your hands.”
Prior to Attenborough’s passionate speech, the natural historian took to social media to encourage fellow climate advocates and citizens to take part in the conference by sharing their own views on the situation by using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat.
The naturalist asked people to join the conference virtually and speak directly to the decision makers about the issue on Twitter.
“This is our opportunity to collectively make a difference. To have our voices heard. Together we can send a message to the world’s leaders they can’t ignore, to act now,” he explained.
“Use #TakeYourSeat to send your message on climate change.”
To bring people’s voice to #COP24 in Poland ????????, @UN has launched the People’s Seat initiative, calling millions of change advocates to submit messages that will be delivered to world ???? leaders.
— Global Goals (@GlobalGoalsUN) November 24, 2018
Many social media users followed his advice, and advised leaders to stand up and create change.
“Reducing emissions to zero by 2050 is far, far too late. Many feedback effects are accelerating global warming and we risk entering a death spiral far sooner. We must set a bold target of zero net emissions by 2025 and no later, for our children’s sake,” one person wrote on Twitter.
#TakeYourSeat Reducing emissions to zero by 2050 is far, far too late. Many feedback effects are accelerating global warming and we risk entering a death spiral far sooner. We must set a bold target of zero net emissions by 2025 and no later, for our children's sake.
— John Ranford#ExtinctionRebellion (@JohnRanford) December 2, 2018
While another added: “The time for action is not in ten years or even 5 years. It is right now. There will not be a second chance. Stop the destruction of rainforest ecosystems by multinationals. Introduce high percentage eco taxes on those companies who continue to destroy them”.
The time for action is not in ten years or even 5 years. It is right now. There will not be a second chance. Stop the destruction of rainforest ecosystems by multinationals. Introduce high percentage eco taxes on those companies who continue to destroy them #TakeYourSeat
— Geoff Nichols Photo (@GNicholsPhoto) December 2, 2018
Others took the opportunity to praise Attenborough on his passionate speech, which has been watched by thousands across the world.
“We are all part of the problem and part of the solution. Sir David’s intervention needs to reach everyone,” someone commented.
“Listen to the main man! He is undeniably speaking the truth,” a second said.