04:51 - Source: CNN
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David Attenborough has laid into Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the Australian leader’s climate policy and support for coal mines.

The renowned broadcaster and natural historian used an interview with ABC’s “Hack” program to criticize recent developments in Australia’s approach to climate change.

He said that while previous administrations had been “saying all the right things,” under Morrison that had changed.

In June, authorities granted Indian billionaire Gautam Adani the green light to start building a new coal mine in the state of Queensland despite fierce opposition from climate change campaigners.

“You are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters,” said Attenborough.

“And then you suddenly say, ‘No it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how much coal we burn … we don’t give a damn what it does to the rest of the world.’”

Environmental activists say the Queensland mine will be a “death sentence” for the Great Barrier Reef because of the high levels of carbon pollution that coal produces.

Large parts of the reef have already been destroyed by rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming.

Attenborough also highlighted a February 2017 incident in which then treasurer Morrison brought a lump of coal into the Australian parliament’s Question Time, a regular opportunity for politicians to raise issues with government ministers.

Morrison said he was making a joke but Attenborough disagreed, emphasizing his support for the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland.

“I don’t think it was a joke,” he said.

“If you weren’t opening a coal mine okay I would agree, it’s a joke. But you are opening a coal mine.”

Attenborough went on to express his support for the recent climate protests in many cities around the world.

“Young people see things very clearly. And they are speaking very clearly to politicians,” he said.

“But if they actually do something in the way that they have been doing in this era, then politicians have to sit up and take notice.”

The broadcaster appeared to approve of the tactics employed by protesters, who have taken to blocking roads in many places.

“And you can say, ‘It gets you nowhere, just stopping the traffic’. But it gets you notice. People listen to what you say. And that you’re important,” he said.

“And they are important. They are the people who are going to inherit the mess that we’ve made.”