Katowice (Poland), Dec 3 (IANS) The greatest threat in thousands of years is the climate change. The world is facing a man-made disaster and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon, renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough said on Monday at the UN’s launch of a new campaign.
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change,” he said in an address to the opening session of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in this Polish city.
Urging everyone to use the UN’s new ActNow.bot, designed to give people the power and knowledge to take personal action against climate change directly on the Facebook Messenger Platform, Attenborough said: “If we don’t take climate action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
The UN provides a unique platform that can unite the whole world. And as the Paris agreement proved, together “we can make real change happen”, he said.
“At this crucial moment, the UN has invited the people to have their voice heard, by giving them a seat. The People’s Seat; giving everyone the opportunity to join us here today, virtually, and speak directly to you the decision makers.”
“In the last two weeks,” he said, “the world’s people have taken part in building this address, answering polls, sending video messages and voicing their opinions.”
The innovative UN campaign was created with the support of Facebook and advertising company Grey and harnesses advances in artificial intelligence to engage people in the growing movement to take climate action.
The ActNow.bot is a fully interactive and responsive chat bot, located on the UN’s Facebook page that suggests everyday actions — determined by the user’s interaction with the bot — that can be taken to preserve the environment and logged on the platform to be shared with social media followers to persuade them to take action too.
The collective actions will be presented during the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2019.
UN Under-Secretary-General of Global Communications Alison Smale said: “Rising global temperature, record levels of greenhouse emissions, and increasing impacts of climate change require urgent and measurable action on the part of everyone.”
“This new social media tool, a Facebook Messenger bot, will help people learn about activities to reduce their carbon footprint, and show and share with friends how they are making an impact. We all need to do things differently,” she added.
The initiative comes as global decision makers are being asked at the two-week long UN climate negotiations, known as COP24, which officially began on Monday, to intensify efforts in the battle against climate change and to agree on the implementation guidelines of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.