the United Nations Climate Summit in favour of a rally for President Donald Trump.” data-reactid=”17″>Sir David Attenborough slammed the Australian government’s response to climate change as the country’s prime minister Scott Morrison skipped the United Nations Climate Summit in favour of a rally for President Donald Trump.
While the United Kingdom has reduced its carbon emissions over the past 12 years, emissions from Australia have increased and the country is among the worst polluters per capita.
Sir David said the current Australian government had departed from the previous government’s commitment to tackling climate change.
“(They had been) saying all the right things… then you suddenly say, ‘No it doesn’t matter … it doesn’t matter how much coal we burn … we don’t give a damn what it does to the rest of the world’,” he said.
Sir David noted that Mr Morrison brought a lump of coal into one of Australia’s houses of Parliament in 2017, calling out to the opposition: “Don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you”.
“If you weren’t opening a coal mine okay I would agree, it’s a joke. But you are opening a coal mine,” he said.
Sir David noted that Mr Morrison had campaigned for re-election on a platform of support for new coal mines.
Speaking from Chicago, Mr Morrison defended his government’s record on climate change.
“I think when you look at the projections on emissions out to 2030, what you’ll see is Australia meeting its commitments,” he said, adding that Australia would exceed its 2020 Kyoto target “by 367 million tonnes”.
On the same day, the prime minister said his government had committed hundreds of millions of dollars to support communities affected by the severe drought in parts of New South Wales and Queensland, and more funds to water infrastructure projects, but he did not link either issue to climate change.
Sir David said droughts made more frequent and more severe by climate change posed a serious threat to the future of agriculture.
“The world is going to be running short of food, seriously short of food,” he said.
A UN panel for assessing the science of climate change recently said that tens of millions of people could suffer famine due to crop failure over the next few decades.