British natural historian, Sir David Attenborough warned on Tuesday that climate change is the biggest security threat that modern humans have ever faced, telling the U.N. Security Council: “I don’t envy you the responsibility that this places on all of you.”
“If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to freshwater, habitable ambient temperature and ocean food chains,” Sir David said in a meeting of the 15-member council on climate-related risks to international peace and security, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“And if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down,” he added.
With the world struggling to cut planet-warming emissions fast enough to avoid catastrophic warming, the United Nations will stage a climate summit in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
“It is literally our last, best hope to get on track and to get this right,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told the council.
The November summit serves as a deadline for countries to commit to deeper emissions cuts. It will be the most important gathering since the 2015 event that yielded the Paris Agreement, when nearly 200 countries committed to halting rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid catastrophic change.
“I know that there are people around the world who will say that this is all kind of green stuff from a bunch of tree-hugging, tofu munchers and not suited to international diplomacy and international politics,” Boris Johnson told the council. “I couldn’t disagree more profoundly.”
Last year, Sir David released a 90-minute film on Netflix called A Life on our Planet, that shows how exponential population growth is a root cause of climate change and the alarming loss of biodiversity.