Coronavirus threatens the fight against climate change, says Attenborough

Pollution, photo: Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Pollution, photo: Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

British broadcaster and leading naturalist Sir David Attenborough (94) said on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic threatens the fight against climate change.

The cancellation of numerous high-level climate-focused talks and events such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference is concerning, said Attenborough, while speaking with the famous young climate activist Greta Thunberg at a virtual wildlife film festival.

“I am worried that people will take their eyes off the environmental issue because of the immediate problems they have with COVID-19,” he said.

The coronavirus comes as the world struggles with extreme storms, wildfires and droughts linked to climate change, experts say. The last two decades saw the number of disasters caused by extreme weather nearly double to 6,681, according to a report by the United Nations.

Speaking from his home in London, Attenborough praised Thunberg’s success in encouraging young people worldwide to demand action.

“If there is any sign of hope, and there is, to be truthful, compared to what there was 25 years ago, it’s because of what you’ve done and what you’ve done for young people,” he told Thunberg. “The world owes you a lot, and I hope you are not paying too high a price for it.”

In return, Thunberg praised Attenborough’s new Netflix documentary A Life On Our Planet, saying it “connected all these issues, like the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, loss of soil and over-fishing.”

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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