David Attenborough warns politicians 'short-sighted' on climate change
25 January 2020, 22:34 | Updated: 25 January 2020, 23:51
Sir David Attenborough has warned politicians may not be making enough long-term plans to tackle climate change.
The naturalist and broadcaster spoke at the first UK-wide citizens' assembly on climate change and said he fears the standard five-year lifespans of governments are leading to short-sightedness.
"If you have a parliament that is of a fixed length of five years, it's very difficult to persuade politicians that they should give money and time and attention and worry about an issue which is not going to come to a climax - and people won't know if it is successful or not successful - for 10 years hence, 15 years hence," he said.
Some 110 members of the public were selected to represent the UK's population and give politicians an understanding of how the UK can reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The event, commissioned by six parliamentary committees, will take place over four weekends in Birmingham.
The attendees will hear expert advice from more than 20 prominent business, faith and civil society leaders before making recommendations which will be presented to the government in April.
Sir David said the public "ought to be extremely grateful" to the assembly for helping to tackle climate change.
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He said: "I truly think that the fact that you've given up time to come here and take this seriously is of the greatest importance.
"And the rest of the people in this country ought to be extremely grateful to you, as indeed, am I."
The assembly is being funded by the House of Commons, as well as philanthropic organisations the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the European Climate Foundation.
(c) Sky News 2020: David Attenborough warns politicians 'short-sighted' on climate change