David Attenborough slams Australia's failure on climate change and says he will 'never forget' the Great Barrier Reef

David Attenborough/ Network Ten.
  • Addressing British MPs, renowned BBC presenter and conservationist Sir David Attenborough has delivered a stunning rebuke of world leaders’ inaction on climate change.
  • Attenborough was quick to single out Australia for not doing enough to combat global warming despite being one of the places most exposed to its effects.
  • The 93-year-old said one thing he “will never forget” is going swimming at the Great Barrier Reef again for the first time in decades and seeing how it had been bleached stark white.

Sir David Attenborough has singled out Australia for its response to climate change, in a stunning rebuke delivered in British Parliament.

The veteran broadcaster said he was “sorry that there are people in power internationally” who were not interested in combating climate change.

“Notable of course in the United States, but also in Australia which is extraordinary actually because Australia is already having to deal with some of the most extreme manifestations of climate change,” Attenborough told the UK House of Commons on Tuesday.

“I will never forget diving on the [Great Barrier] reef about 10 years ago and suddenly seeing that instead of this multitude of wonderful forms of life, that it was stark white, it had bleached white because of the rising temperatures and the increasing acidity of the sea.”

He went on to urge those policymakers to listen to the concerns of their citizens.

“(In) both Australia and America, those voices are clearly heard. And one hopes that the electorate will respond to those.”

After all, there seems there are no shortage of voices urging government action.

Attenborough’s comments echo a landmark complaint filed by a group of Torres Strait Islanders in the United Nations (UN) against the Australian Government.

The complaint filed in May alleged the Australian government had failed to protect the islands and their inhabitants and urged the UN to pressure the UN to intervene.

Meanwhile, Australian company directors have revealed that climate change is their number one concern, while new analysis shows the country has just two-decades to avoid its most destructive impacts.

It was ultimately the younger generation, Attenborough lamented, that would need to do what their forebears refused to do.

“I suspect that we are right now at the beginning of a big change. Young people, in particular, are the stimulus that’s bringing it about.”

READ MORE: Millennials and Gen Z are finally gaining ground in the climate battle — here are the signs they’re winning

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