David Attenborough’s Best Speeches

Sir David Attenborough warned of a global ‘man-made disaster’ at COP24 in Poland yesterday as he took up the People’s Seat address. We look back at some of Sir David’s most galvanising speeches to date:

“We’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years – climate change,”  – this was the haunting warning from Sir David Attenborough yesterday as he delivered the People’s Seat Address at COP24 in Poland.

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the  natural world is on the horizon,” warned the naturalist during the opening of the UN-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.  He addressed the COP24 plenary representing ‘The People Seat’ – sharing climate change stories gathered from around the world that were collected via social media in the lead to the event.  

The “People’s Seat” initiative, which comes not long after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned that the world is headed towards a warming of over 3 degrees Celsius with current pledges under the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, combined digital technology, polling and involvement of passionate climate change advocates to engagge people in the growing movement to take climate action. 

During COP24, governments will finalise the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreements and discuss ways that goals can be achieved. 

See Sir David Attenborough’s full People’s Seat address below, along with some of his most powerful speeches from over the years:

COP24, Poland, December 2018

“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. The greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinctions of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” 

Blue Planet II Impact Award Acceptance Speech, February 2018

Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about it… Surely we have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of humanity, and indeed all life on Earth, now depends on us.” 

BBC’s Plastic Message, July 2018

“Right now, 8 million plastic tonnes of plastics ends up in the oceans every year, but you by your responses have shown that if we start doing those small steps that are easily achievable we can before long really have an effect.”

Keynote at WWF’s Living Planet Lecture

“Now we are facing a new change. Now people have come to realise that the changes that have been taking place on this planet, are comparable with the changes which they saw in geological eras. […] Not over centuries as it happened in the most recent changes, but within decates”

Keynote speech at the University of Leicester, January 2016

“Animals as well as human beings appreciate the arts”