James Norton has called on people to make tackling climate change “the next great human achievement”.
The Happy Valley actor lends his voice to a new video released by campaign group The Climate Coalition in which he compares the fight against global warming to the development of vaccines and the moon landing.
The video features Norton listing a string of human achievements, including the curing of diseases and creation of languages and music, and culminates with him asking whether saving the world from climate change would be “our greatest achievement of all”.
The coalition is made up of more than 130 organisations ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to groups such as the Women’s Institute, WWF, RSPB, and the National Trust.
The film is being released as part of its Show The Love campaign, which celebrates things that could be lost without efforts to tackle climate change – from beaches to bees and cricket to coffee.
Norton said: “For a long time, we’ve thought about climate change as something that’s happening far away or something that belongs to the future, but the floods and heatwaves we’ve been hit with more frequently here in the UK and across the world are changing that. We need to act.
“I’m not perfect but I’m trying to change things in my own life – cycling whenever I can, buying less stuff and not wasting food.
“If we all try to make changes in our lives while using our power to influence those who can make the world of difference then, as it says in the film, we can be the generation that achieves the greatest of all humanity’s successes.’”
Writer and director Richard Paris Wilson added: “Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation. You can’t help but read the studies and watch the news and feel fearful of the future.
“It’s easy to feel helpless, but we wanted to make a film that celebrated the power of humanity, and all the great things we’ve done together.
“Even though we got ourselves into this mess, we really can get ourselves out.”