David Attenborough to U.N.: 'Climate change a threat to global security, I don't envy you'

By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK (Reuters) - British naturalist David Attenborough warned on Tuesday that climate change is the biggest security threat that modern humans have ever faced, telling the U.N. Security Council: 'I don't envy you the responsibility that this places on all of you.' Attenborough, 94, the world's most influential wildlife broadcaster, addressed a virtual meeting of the 15-member council on climate-related risks to international peace and security, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Reuters February 24, 2021 00:11:04 IST
David Attenborough to U.N.: 'Climate change a threat to global security, I don't envy you'

David Attenborough to UN Climate change a threat to global security I dont envy you

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British naturalist David Attenborough warned on Tuesday that climate change is the biggest security threat that modern humans have ever faced, telling the U.N. Security Council: "I don't envy you the responsibility that this places on all of you."

Attenborough, 94, the world's most influential wildlife broadcaster, addressed a virtual meeting of the 15-member council on climate-related risks to international peace and security, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature and ocean food chains," Attenborough said.

"And if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down," he added.

With the world struggling to cut planet-warming emissions fast enough to avoid catastrophic warming, the United Nations will stage a climate summit in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

It will be the most important gathering since the 2015 event that yielded the Paris Agreement, when nearly 200 countries committed to halt rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid catastrophic change. The November summit serves as a deadline for countries to commit to deeper emissions cuts.

"I know that there are people around the world who will say that this is all kind of green stuff from a bunch of tree-hugging, tofu munchers and not suited to international diplomacy and international politics," Johnson told the council. "I couldn't disagree more profoundly."

The Paris accord aims to cap the rise in temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5C to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushed countries, companies, cities and financial institutions to make ambitious commitments to cut global emissions. China and the United States are the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

"We still have a long way to go, and we look to the major emitters to lead by example in the coming months," Guterres told the council. "This is a credibility test of their commitment to people and planet. It is the only way we will keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach."

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.