Sir David Attenborough is sending out the final warning. According to him, the collapse of civilization and the natural world in on the horizon. He told the UN climate summit in Poland.
He was chosen to represent the world’s people in addressing delegates of almost 200 nations in Katowice to negotiate how to turn pledges made in the 2015 Paris climate deal into reality.
“Right now we are facing a manmade disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change,” Attenborough addressed on Monday. “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
“Do you not see what is going on around you?” asks one young man in a video message played as part of a montage to the delegates. “We are already seeing increased impacts of climate change in China,” says a young woman. Another woman, standing outside a building burned down by a wildfire, says: “This used to be my home.”
Attenborough said: “The world’s people have spoken. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilizations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.”
Studies revealed that 20 of the warmest years recorded till date are the past 22 years on record. The top four are the last four years. According to UN, we need to put 5 times the effort of climate action to limit global warming to the 1.5C.
António Guterres, the UN secretary general said “Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late,” he said. “For many, people, regions and even countries, this is already a matter of life or death.”
“We have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos,” he said.
He highlighted the opportunities of the green economy: “Climate action offers a compelling path to transform our world for the better. Governments and investors need to bet on the green economy, not the grey.”
Another goal of the summit is for nations to increase their pledges to cut carbon emissions; currently, they are on target for a disastrous 3C of warming.