Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough

Attenborough slams Aussie MPs

SIR David Attenborough has publicly slammed climate change sceptics "in power" in Australia.

The renowned naturalist and BBC broadcaster took aim at climate change sceptics "in power" in Australia and the US overnight as he gave evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the UK's plan to cut carbon emissions.

Attenborough said he was "sorry that there are people who are in power internationally" in both the US and "also in Australia" who dismissed climate change science.

He said it was an "extraordinary" situation because "Australia is already facing how to deal with some of the most extreme manifestations of climate change".

"In both Australia and America, those voices are clearly heard," Attenborough said.

"One hopes the electorate will actually respond to those."

In a wide-ranging hearing, Attenborough also said the debate on climate science should be public, adding that "voices of criticism and the voices of disbelief should not be stamped on".

He also said countries "cannot be radical enough" in dealing with the issue.

"The question is what is practically possible, how can we take the electorate with us in dealing with these things," he told a panel of MPs.

"The most encouraging thing I see of course is that the electors of tomorrow are already making … their voices very, very clear."

"All of us here are okay because we won't face the problems that are coming," he added.

"But the problems in the next 20, 30 years are really major problems that will cause great social unrest."

Attenborough's remarks come less than two months after the Australian federal election where climate change became a central issue for independents and the two major parties.

Independent Zali Steggall defeated Liberal MP Tony Abbott in Warringah following a campaign heavily criticising his stance on climate change and the Paris Agreement on emissions reduction.

Warringah candidates Tony Abbott and Zali Steggall at the Sky News/Manly Daily Debate at Queenscliff Surf Club on May 2. Picture: Damian Shaw
Warringah candidates Tony Abbott and Zali Steggall at the Sky News/Manly Daily Debate at Queenscliff Surf Club on May 2. Picture: Damian Shaw

Mr Abbott backflipped on his stance on the Paris agreement during the campaign.

Former Liberal minister Kelly O'Dwyer, who quit politics at the election, also warned colleagues in a party room meeting following the Victorian election that there was a perception Liberals were regarded as "homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers".

The remarks were later leaked to the media.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has noted climate change as a priority and refused to cave to conservative MPs calls prior to the election to pull Australia out of the Paris Agreement.

The Morrison government has also committed to keep its emissions reduction target, 26-28 per cent by 2030, while warning about the potential economic impacts of Labor's higher 45 per cent target.

Tony Abbott arriving at his election party at Manly Leagues Club after being defeated by independent Zali Steggall for the seat of Warringah. Picture: Tim Hunter
Tony Abbott arriving at his election party at Manly Leagues Club after being defeated by independent Zali Steggall for the seat of Warringah. Picture: Tim Hunter


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