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Obama asks Attenborough for advice

Published 26/06/2015

Sir David Attenborough discussed climate change and the environment with US President Barack Obama
Sir David Attenborough discussed climate change and the environment with US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama has met Sir David Attenborough at the White House to ask for advice on protecting the future of the planet.

The extraordinary interview, recorded in May on the naturalist's 89th birthday, is set to air on BBC One this Sunday at 10.30pm.

Mr Obama tells Sir David he is a big fan and invited him to Washington to discuss climate change and ask the British TV star what he believes are the biggest threats to the environment.

The broadcaster said: "On my 89th birthday it was to my considerable surprise to find myself in a place that I've never been to before ... to visit the White House with the President of the United States. He was friendly, hospitable and genuine."

The intimate film includes behind-the-scenes footage of the meeting between the two men at the White House.

During the interview, Mr Obama tells The Living Planet presenter: "I have been a huge admirer of your work for a very long time ... you've been a great educator as well as a great naturalist."

He adds: "We're not moving as fast as we need to and part of what I know from watching your programmes, and all the great work you've done, is that these ecosystems are all interconnected.

"If just one country is doing the right thing but other countries are not then we're not going to solve the problem, we're going to have to have a global solution to this."

Sir David explained that he believes people must be educated that caring for the planet is our responsibility.

He said: "I think what's required is an understanding and a gut feeling that the natural world is part of your inheritance. This is the only planet we've got and we've got to protect it. And people do feel that, deeply and instinctively - it is, after all,where you go in moments of celebration and in moments of grief."

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