World renowned naturalist David Attenborough has warned the “moment of crisis” has come and claiming the Australian bushfires have nothing to do with climate change is “palpably nonsense”.
The 93-year-old also said governments’ targets for decades in the future were not enough to save the planet.
He criticised Canberra’s approach to climate change, saying the government’s support for coal mines showed the world it did not care about the environment.
"The moment of crisis has come – we can no longer prevaricate," Attenborough, who raised public awareness of the danger of plastic pollution in oceans with his television series Blue Planet II, told the BBC.
"We have been putting things off year after year, raising targets and saying, 'Oh well if we do it within the next 20 years...’.
"This is an urgent problem that has to be solved. And what is more is that we know how to do it – that's the paradoxical thing – that we are refusing to take steps that we know have to be taken."
The broadcaster when on to say: “As I speak, southeast Australia is on fire.”
“Why? Because the temperatures of the earth are increasing. That is a major international catastrophe. And to say it has nothing to do with the climate is palpably nonsense.”
The British naturalist also called on China in particular to reduce its carbon emissions, saying he thought other countries would follow if China set a lead.
Attenborough's interview was part of the BBC's drive to increase coverage of climate change ahead of a UN conference on climate change, COP 26, in Glasgow in November 2020.
‘Human beings have overrun the world’
Mr Attenborough has warned that "human beings have overrun the world" in a trailer for his new film.
The feature-length documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, looks back on the defining moments of his life and the environmental devastation that has taken place during that time.
As well as highlighting some of the issues that climate change poses, he also explores some of the potential solutions.
"I've had the most extraordinary life,” he says in the trailer.
"It is only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
"The living world is a unique and spectacular marvel, yet the way we humans live on earth is sending it into a decline.
"Human beings have overrun the world. We're replacing the wild with the tame.
"This film is my witness statement and my vision of the future."
He added that the planet was “headed for disaster”.
"We need to learn how to work with nature rather than against it and I'm going to tell you how,” he said.
The WWF conservation organisation helped to produce the film.
"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections,” Colin Butfield, WWF's executive producer for the film said.
"This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate.
"It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."
The film will be broadcast in the UK, the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and New Zealand.
It will then be released on Netflix.
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