Schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg joins David Attenborough for powerful new BBC1 climate change documentary

Young and old unite to warn of the "man-made disaster" of global warming

Schoo climate change activist Greta Thunberg joins David Attenborough for new documentary Climate Change: The Facts (Getty/BBC)

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global environmental movement, is set to appear in David Attenborough’s upcoming BBC1 documentary warning of the damaging effects of climate change.

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The 16-year-old activist who began the ‘School Strikes for Climate’ protest joins the 92-year-old naturalist as part of an hour-long documentary on the threats of global warning.

Climate Change: The Facts will air at 9pm this Thursday 18th April on BBC1.

“When I was younger I had lots of plans of becoming different things: everything from becoming an actor to a scientist,” Thunberg says in the documentary. “But then my teachers in school told me about climate change. That was sort of an eye opener to me.”

The teenager goes on to explain why she first decided to stage a school strike outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018, and how her action inspired pupils across the world.

“My future and everyone else’s future is at risk and nothing is being done, no one is doing anything, so then I have to do something,” she says. “So I sat myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament, and I decided that I wasn’t going to go to school.

“The first day I sat all alone. Then the second day people started joining me. I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that this would happen. It happened so fast.”

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - AUGUST 28: Fifteen year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg leads a school strike and sits outside of Riksdagen, the Swedish parliament building, in order to raises awareness for climate change on August 28, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty Images)
Swedish student Greta Thunberg was just 15 when she led a school strike for climate protest in Sweden last year (Getty)

Thunberg went on to speak at the UN Climate Talks in Poland and the World Economic Forum in Davos. In March 2019 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign against climate change.

Attenborough praises her action along with others across the world in the BBC film, saying that “there’s a message for all of us in the voices of these young people. It is after all their generation who will inherit this dangerous legacy.”

The documentary is set to lay out the scientific evidence of global warming and the risks that climate change poses across the world, with Attenborough stating that “we are facing a man-made disaster on a global scale.”

“In the 20 years since I first started talking about the impact of climate change on our world, conditions have changed far faster than I ever imagined,” Attenborough says. “It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world, and the collapse of our societies.”

Climate Change: The Facts marks Attenborough’s return to the BBC following the release of his recent nature series Our Planet on Netflix.

Over a dozen of the world’s leading climate change scientists are set to feature in the documentary, from former Nasa scientist Dr James Hansen to Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment in India.

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Climate Change: The Facts will air at 9pm on BBC1 this Thursday 18th April