Sir David Attenborough: Climate change is greatest threat in millennia

Sir David Attenborough was speaking on behalf of the UN's "People's Seat" initiative to give ordinary people a voice. Picture: PA Wire
Sir David Attenborough was speaking on behalf of the UN's "People's Seat" initiative to give ordinary people a voice. Picture: PA Wire
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At the United Nations climate change conference in Poland, naturalist Sir David Attenborough gave the following ‘People’s Address’, based on thousands of submissions from people from all over the world.

“We the peoples of the United Nations.” These are the opening words of the UN Charter. A charter that puts people at the centre. A pledge to give every person in the world a voice on its future. A promise to help protect the weakest and the strongest from war, famine and other man-made disasters.

Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our 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.

READ MORE: Collapse of civilisation the horizon without climate action, warns David Attenborough

The United Nations provides a unique platform that can unite the whole world. And as the Paris agreement proved, together we can make real change happen.

At this crucial moment, the United Nations has invited the world’s people to have their voice heard, by giving them a seat. The People’s Seat, giving everyone the opportunity to join us here today, virtually, and speak directly to you the decision makers.

In the last two weeks, the world’s people have taken part in building this address, answering polls, sending video messages and voicing their opinions.

I am only here to represent the ‘Voice of the People’: to deliver our collective thoughts, concerns, ideas and suggestions.

READ MORE: Joyce McMillan: Why politicians are failing to tackle climate change

The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out.

They want you, the decision makers, to act now. They are behind you, along with civil society represented here today, supporting you in making tough decisions but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives.

To help make change happen, the UN is launching the Act Now bot, helping people to discover simple everyday actions that they can take, because they recognise that they too must play their part.

The People have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands.