Science & Environment

Attenborough: Climate risks Africa turmoil

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Media captionAttenborough: 'We cannot be radical enough'

The naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough says that climate change will make parts of Africa uninhabitable.

Speaking to the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, Sir David said we can't be radical enough when tackling the problem.

Tough, unpopular actions from the government would be needed, he said.

These included putting up the price of airline tickets.

Painting a vivid picture for MPs of coral reefs turned "stark white" by warming waters, Sir David warned that the world faced a "serious collapse" caused by climate change over the next 20-30 years.

This could make parts of Africa uninhabitable, he said, causing mass migration.

"Large parts of Africa will become even less inhabitable than they are now," he told the committee.

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Media captionAttenborough: 'To chuck plastic into the ocean is an insult'

He criticised those governments where voices sceptical about climate science were still clearly heard. And he hoped the electorate in the US and Australia particularly would remember this come election time.

Sir David told MPs that everyone would have to play their part in the battle against climate change, and this would involve some tough decisions. He criticised airfares as too cheap, and said that these should rise to discourage flying.

The public mood was changing, he said. The young, he said, gave him hope that the world would change before irreversible climate change destroyed our world.

Despite the stark nature of his message, Sir David's passion and status seemed to charm the MPs on the committee. The chair described it as the "most inspiring session" that they've held.