The Duke of Cambridge interviewed natural historian Sir David Attenborough at the World Economic Forum about his life work and issues facing the environment.
The session, called “A Conversation with Sir David Attenborough and HRH the Duke of Cambridge”, took place in Davos, Switzerland, on the first official day of the WEF meeting, which brings together business and political leaders, economists, celebrities, and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.
Kensington Palace said Prince William would be focusing the conversation on the “urgent challenges facing the next generation of environmental leaders.”
During the interview, the duke asked the famous documentarian about the urgency of the climate change crisis. “It’s hard to overstate it,” Attenborough replied (via the Guardian). “Humans are now so numerous, and so powerful, that we can exterminate whole ecosystems without even noticing it.
“We now have to be really aware about this,” he added, as he pointed to the increasing problem of plastic waste in the sea.
On Monday night, on the eve of the WEF, Attenborough received a Crystal Award, which is awarded to “exceptional cultural leaders.” During his speech he warned world leaders that the planet will suffer immeasurably if climate change is not taken seriously.
“I am quite literally from another age,” the 92-year-old naturalist said. “I was born during the Holocene – the 12,000 [-year] period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm, and create civilizations.
“In the space of my lifetime, all that has changed. The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more. We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age: the Anthropocene, the age of humans.”
He declared: “We need to move beyond guilt or blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand.”
In his interview with Prince William, the legendary broadcaster talked about his new TV show, “Our Planet”, made in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. The series will be shown on Netflix, opening up Attenborough’s work to a whole new audience.
“The project assembled some of the world’s best filmmakers and conservationists to create a landmark series to stream on Netflix, thereby instantly reaching an audience of hundreds of millions of people across the world at the same time,” he explained.
“By putting it on Netflix it becomes possible overnight to reach 150 million people immediately. I started TV in the 1950s and TV in Britain at that time was only seen by a few million people in southern England.”
In a lighter moment, the pair discussed the filming process and how difficult it is working with gases and the elements. “They’re a bit like children, aren’t they, David? Unpredictable,” the Prince quipped.