Sir David Attenborough Warns Civilisation Is Near Collapse Unless We Act Now

05 December, 2018, 23:45 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • UN conference on climate change opens

Natural historian Sir David Attenborough listens to speeches during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland.

He told the gathering that the "collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taking against global warming.

"At the upcoming summit, we expect G20 countries to demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to taking the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5°C, including by moving forward with the Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan from a year ago".

The world is now on course to overshoot by far the limits for global warming agreed in the landmark 2015 Paris accord on climate change, which were meant to prevent more extreme weather, rising sea levels and the loss of plant and animal species.

Trump is a promoter of fossil fuels and nuclear power and has proposed renegotiating the Paris Accord - an idea many dismiss as impractical.

He said trillions of dollars in climate finance was, therefore, needed to cover the costs of adapting to climate change impacts, coping with loss and damage and pursuing clean development pathways to avoid emissions.

Attenborough warned that the world's survival depends on swift action to prevent climate change.

The U.S.is also taking part, despite announcing previous year that it's pulling out of the Paris accord.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the COP24 United Nations climate conference, in Katowice, Poland, Attenborough called climate change "our greatest threat in thousands of years". The United States is the only country, not part of the accord after President Donald Trump made a decision to walk away from it.


Tens of thousands of people marched peacefully on Sunday in Brussels urging governments to respect commitments on countering climate change as a United Nations conference on keeping global warming in check opened in Poland.

Mr Guterres called for a "huge increase in ambitions" during the negotiations in Poland, adding, "We can not afford to fail in Katowice". President Donald Trump has announced Washington's withdrawal from the Paris accord, saying it's a bad deal for Americans, and repeatedly questioned the science behind climate change.

Attenborough is attending the UN's "Conference of parties" also called COP24 for its 24 meeting as policy-makers hammer out a rule book to implement the Paris Climate Accord.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who issued a dramatic appeal to governments Monday to confront the threat of unchecked climate change, said he hopes the event in Poland will serve as a stepping stone for a meeting of leaders he is convening on the sidelines of next year's General Assembly.

While the Polish government claims Katowice is in the process of transforming into a green city, power plant chimneys pumped plumes of smoke into a tiresome December sky and monitoring sites showed elevated levels of air pollution.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda later told a news conference the coal-rich country would reduce its reliance on coal but would never entirely give up its "strategic fossil fuel".

Delegates said that one of the trickiest issues could be monitoring emissions as the U.S., which cannot quit the pact until 2020, uses the talks to press for a level of detail it perceives as useful to its foreign policy dealings.

A key issue up for debate is how the fight against climate change is funded, with developed and developing nations still world's apart in their demands.

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