London - Naturalist David Attenborough told British lawmakers on Tuesday it would be essential to stick to a new target to decarbonise the economy, warning that failure to tackle climate change could lead to massive social unrest.
Attenborough, one of the world’s most influential wildlife broadcasters, said Britain’s move last month to become the first G7 country to commit to a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 could help galvanise broader international action.
“It’s a tough target. It's not an easy statement to have made, and it's going to cost money,” Attenborough told a hearing of parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. “It's actually a practical commitment, and I hope to goodness that we can achieve it and stick by it.”
Attenborough, who has become increasingly outspoken about risks posed by the climate crisis in recent years, added: “It’s absolutely essential that it should be done … if we’re going to avoid massive social unrest.”
Attenborough had earlier told the hearing that he drew hope from an upsurge in environmental activism by a younger generation aware that they would bear the brunt of climate impacts as the crisis worsened in coming decades.