Veteran broadcaster tells UN Security Council climate crisis is “greatest security threat” humans have to face

Sir David Attenborough, environmentalist and television activist, issued a grim warning to world leaders on climate change: “It is already too late”

Speaking at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s invitation to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on climate, Sir David simply said: “Make no mistake – climate change is the greatest security threat modern humans have ever known face “

In his impassioned speech, the veteran broadcaster said he did not “envy” the blame for the situation on “all of you and your governments,” but warned: “We have left the stable and secure climatic period that gave birth to to our civilizations

“There is no turning back – no matter what we do now it is too late to avoid climate change and the poorest, the most vulnerable, those with the least security, are now certain to suffer from it “

M Johnson gave Sir David the platform since the UK currently chairs the UN Security Council

And as he practically opened the first UN leaders summit on climate change, Mr. Johnson described the threat he posed to global security as “of paramount importance” and said that global warming was causing insecurity “for communities uprooted by the extreme weather. and hunger, to warlords capitalizing on the scramble for resources “

He called for measures to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and reduce global emissions to “net zero” – which requires huge reductions in greenhouse gases and any residual pollution ahead. be offset by measures such as planting trees – to protect prosperity and security

And he won the support of French President Emmanuel Macron who urged the UNSC to appoint a climate security envoy to coordinate policies on climate change

Sir David described this event as perhaps “the last opportunity to make the necessary changes” to save the planet

He said: “If we cut emissions hard enough, we could still avoid the tipping points that will make climate change out of control

“In November of this year, at COP26 in Glasgow, we may have our last chance to make the necessary change

“If we objectively view climate change and the loss of nature as threats to global security – as they indeed are – then we could still act proportionately and in time”

This comes as countries increasingly face the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather, forcing people to relocate and creating competition for increasingly scarce resources

Of the 20 countries ranked most vulnerable to rising global temperatures, 12 are already in conflict, officials said

M Johnson said: “The UNSC is charged with addressing the most serious threats to global peace and security, and that is exactly what climate change represents”

But he said: “Unlike many issues the council deals with, we know exactly how to solve them

“By helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and reducing global emissions to net zero, we will not only protect our planet’s abundant biodiversity, but also its prosperity and security”

Christian Aid’s Climate Policy Officer Dr Kat Kramer said: “Millions of the world’s poorest people are already living with the effects of climate change, which is forcing displacement, ravaging livelihoods. subsistence and puts pressure on communities who compete for resources such as land and water

“In some countries, these impacts become the engines of local conflicts which can be exploited by the leaders and degenerate into violence and war”

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David Attenborough

Global news – GB – Attenborough’s blunt warning on climate change: “It’s already too late”