David Attenborough makes shock comparison between youth climate action and slavery

Sir David Attenborough tells MPs drastic action is needed to save the planet

Sir David Attenborough stresses 'radical' change needed to combat climate change

Attenborough praised the global youth movement for being the "stimulus" for changing public understanding of environmental issues.

He said: "The electors of tomorrow are already making themselves and their voices very, very clear".

"And that is a source of great comfort in a way".

Attenborough said the most vivid example he had witnessed of the changing climate was revisiting the Great Barrier Reef and seeing how it had been bleached because of rising temperatures. "By the middle of the 19th century it was becoming intolerable".

"The problems in the next 20 or 30 years are really major problems that are going to cause great social unrest and great changes in the way that we live, in what we eat and how we live and so on".

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Veteran broadcaster David Attenborough has expressed his disappointment at the rise of climate science denial in the USA and Australia and called on voters to respond.

He told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee public perception has "been transformed" such that people now believe that "to chuck plastic into the ocean is an insult".

"To have the nerve to say 'this is our rubbish, and then we'll give you money if you could spread it on your land instead of ours in the far east, ' is intolerable".

But on a positive note, Attenborough said: "The only way you can get up in the morning is to believe that, actually, we can do something.and I believe that we can". He said he was "sorry that there are people in power and internationally, notably the United States, but also in Australia" where "those voices are clearly heard" and hoped the "electorate will actually respond to those".

Speaking about his shift from entertainer to climate advocate, Mr Attenborough said he didn't have a choice.

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He said: "I see no future in being pessimistic because that leads you to say, 'To hell with it, why should I care?'"

"I feel an obligation".

These actions, he said, would need to include lifestyle changes including raising the price of "extraordinarily cheap" airline tickets.

It said there has been little progress on many areas for cutting emissions, and the gap between what is being done and what needs to be done to meet existing targets to curb climate change is growing, the committee warned.

Attenborough, one of the world's most influential wildlife broadcasters, said Britain's move last month to become the first G7 country to commit to a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 could help galvanize broader worldwide action.

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