David Suzuki's Earth Day warning for Australia: 'Out of time'

As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, world-renowned environmentalist and broadcaster Dr David Suzuki has issued an urgent call for action.

The 86-year-old Canadian told Yahoo News Australia we may have already “run out of time”.

He is urging Australia to “kick its addiction to coal”, because what's at stake is the “fate of life on this planet".

Left - an image of Dr Suzuki. Right - a diver on the Great Barrier Reef
David Suzuki warns the fate of the Great Barrier Reef hangs in the balance. Source: AAP

“The world’s leading authority on climate change (the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has issued an urgent call for action on the climate crisis, a global emergency UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called a 'Code Red' for humanity,” Dr Suzuki said.

“We’ve run out of time.

“The integrity of the atmosphere and nature must come ahead of economic growth and politics.

“Nature is the only way to remove carbon from the air and huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must begin immediately.

“Australia must kick its addiction to coal and electrify the country with sunlight.

“The fate of life on this planet – from our children to the Great Barrier Reef – hangs in the balance.

“This Earth Day, I ask you: if this isn’t reason enough to act, what is?”

Dr Suzuki urges voters to consider the world their children will inherit

Dr Suzuki is the author of over 40 books on the environment, and became a household name via his long-running Canadian TV program, The Nature of Things.

In 2021, he predicted the world will look “very grim” as climate change and biodiversity loss continued to impact the planet.

A coal facility near a beach in Wollongong.
Dr Suzuki has urged Australia to "kick its addiction to coal and electrify the country with sunlight". Source: Getty

As children are unable to vote, he urged their parents and grandparents, no matter their political persuasion, to elect leaders who will act to fight climate change and species extinction to preserve opportunities for the next generation.

“Our politics is so screwed up,” he said in May.

“Children don’t vote, future generations don’t vote, rivers, oceans, air, they don’t vote and yet we’re making decisions that effect these things in a profound way.”

This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet, with businesses, individuals and government told to be accountable for their impact on the environment.

Events marking the day will be held across the globe, including in Australia’s capital cities.

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