Transcript of the speech by Sir David Attenborough
COP2, Katowice, Poland
3rd December 2018
Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
‘We the peoples of the United Nations’. These are the opening words of the UN Charter. A charter that puts people at the centre. A pledge to give every person in the world a voice on its future. A promise to help protect the weakest and the strongest from war, famine and other man-made disasters.
Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change. If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. The United Nations provides a unique platform that can unite the whole world.
And as the Paris agreement proved, together we can make real change happen. At this crucial moment, the United Nations has invited the world’s people to have their voice heard, by giving them a seat. The People’s Seat; giving everyone the opportunity to join us here today, virtually, and speak directly to you the decision makers.
In the last two weeks, the world’s people have taken part in building this address, answering polls, sending video messages and voicing their opinions. I am only here to represent the ‘Voice of the People’: to deliver our collective thoughts, concerns, ideas and suggestions.
This is our ‘We the peoples’ message. Video https://vimeo.com/304018764
The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision makers, to act now. They are behind you, along with civil society represented here today. Supporting you in making tough decisions but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives.
To help make change happen, the UN is launching the Act Now bot. Helping people to discover simple everyday actions that they can take, because they recognize that they too must play their part.
The People have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisation and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands.