People answer David Attenborough's appeal to share climate stories


People on social media have shared their climate stories, answering David Attenborough's appeal.

Ordinary people are being encouraged to share their thoughts on climate change as the UN goes online for "most important discussion" of the century.

With a virtual summit and veteran British naturalist David Attenborough set to represent "the people" at December's crucial climate talks, the United Nations and frontline nations are pushing for more ordinary citizens to tackle global warming.

The requests came thick and fast, including from an enterprising young girl, who filmed her request using props to demonstrate the significance of climate change. 

Others thanked the UN and David Attenborough for seeking out the voices of concerned citizens. 

"Thank you, @UNFCCC for inviting the people - all of us - to participate in this critically important conversation!," Victoria Hudson wrote in a message posted on Twitter.

Other social media users had their wish lists ready to go. 

Supported by the world's biggest advertising agency WPP, the UN has enlisted Attenborough - much-loved for his colourful television series Blue Planet - to speak on December 3 at its annual climate change meeting in Poland.

The 91-year-old is already encouraging the public to share their experiences and ideas about how to stop the planet heating up using the Twitter hashtag TakeYourSeat.

"This is an opportunity for people from across the globe, regardless of their nationality or circumstances, to be part of the most important discussion of this century; the unprecedented action needed to reach the Paris Agreement targets," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Countries most vulnerable to climate change urge stronger action

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said drastic action is needed in the next 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The 2015 Paris pact set a goal of limiting global warming to "well below" a rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, while "pursuing efforts" for a tougher 1.5C goal.

Last month, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a report that the world would heat up by more than 3C with countries' current pledges to cut planet-warming emissions under the Paris deal.

At the first online intergovernmental summit on Thursday, organised by about 50 countries most threatened by climate change, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Yemen, more than 40 leaders said action must be ramped up.

The leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum states pledged to raise the level of ambition of their national climate action plans by 2020 and urged other governments to do the same to keep the 1.5C warming limit within reach.

The Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands set an example this week, submitting new targets to the UN to reduce its emissions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the green credentials of the "carbon-free" summit, which did not require participants to travel, thereby avoiding heat-trapping emissions.

"We are showing that more can be done with tools and means on hand than we might think," Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands and host of the summit, said in a statement.

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