Act on the climate now or it will be too late

David Attenborough has issued a warning ahead of the UN climate summit in Glasgow that leaders must act now or it will be «too late» for the planet.

Cop26 has been touted as the last best chance of keeping global temperature rises to no more than 1.5°C, with Attenborough criticizing those who deny the climate crisis.

In a conversation with BBC Science Editor David Shukman, the naturalist and broadcaster said: «Every month that passes, it becomes more and more indisputable, the changes we are responsible for on the planet and which have such devastating effects.»

He added, «If we don’t act now, it will be too late. We have to do it now.»

The 95-year-old said wealthier Western countries such as the UK had a «moral responsibility» to help refugees displaced by climate change.

«We have caused it – our type of industrialization is one of the main factors in bringing about this change in climate. We have a moral responsibility,» he told the BBC.

“Even if we didn’t, we would have a moral responsibility to do something about the thousands of men, women, and children who lost everything, everything. Can we just say goodbye and say it’s none of our business?”

Earlier in October, Attenborough, who will be present at the summit, said Cop26’s potential gave him «some hope».

«For the first time people around the world will hear the arguments about what we should do, the analyzes about what the problems are and what the solutions are,» he said.

«Those two things give me some hope.»

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Boris Johnson will welcome world leaders to Glasgow for the summit, which begins on Sunday, after he said it was «touch and go» whether the main goals would be achieved as the heads of some of the major polluters skipped the event.

Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth acknowledged that she will attend Cop26 and appears to indicate she is angry at the lack of action to tackle the climate crisis.

It came days after her grandson William warned world leaders in Glasgow of «skillful talk, smart words but not enough action».

Recent analyzes indicate that even with the latest pledges and targets, the Earth is headed toward 2.4°C of long-term warming.

Carbon budgets

Attenborough’s comments come after Environment, Climate and Communications Minister Eamonn Ryan welcomed the publication of proposed carbon budgets from the Climate Change Advisory Board.

The The first proposed carbon budget It was sent to Eamon Ryan yesterday after a long deliberation on his recommendations for how Ireland should chart its course to reduce emissions.

For the first time, the Irish government is set to implement three carbon budgets, each covering five years, that set limits on emissions from certain sectors.

The budget is part of a roadmap Ireland is following to meet the government’s goal of cutting emissions by more than half by 2030, and a step on the way to its second major goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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Commenting on the proposed budgets, Ryan said: «When we passed the Climate Act in July, we embed the carbon budget process into the law. The Act also strengthened the role of the Climate Change Advisory Board, to enable this independent body to do this important work, based on the latest climate science.»

«The first carbon budgets are a milestone in our efforts to tackle climate change,» he said.

The budget, which will run until 2025, allows for a total of 295 million tons of CO2 emissions between now and then.

Between 2026 and 2030, the maximum is 200 million tons, and the interim carbon budget for the period from 2031 to 2035 allocates 151 million tons.

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