Sir David Attenborough was today named the People’s Advocate for this year's crunch United Nations climate change summit hosted by Britain.

The broadcaster and environmental campaigner will “put forward the compelling case to global leaders, key decision makers and the public for why climate action matters”, according to the Cabinet Office.

Recruiting the hugely-respected 95-year-old TV veteran, who is widely credited for highlighting damage being caused to the planet, is a big coup for the Government as preparations for November's COP26 summit in Glasgow gather pace.

He said: “I am greatly honoured to be given the role of People’s Advocate.

Boris Johnson hailed Sir David's role
He is one of the country's foremost voices on climate change

“There could not be a more important moment that we should have international agreement.

“The epidemic has shown us how crucial it is to find agreement among nations if we are to solve such worldwide problems.

“But the problems that await us within the next five to 10 years are even greater.

“It is crucial that these meetings in Glasgow, COP26, have success, and that at last the nations will come together to solve the crippling problems that the world now faces.”

Sir David's key role will see him address world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Premier Emmanuel Macron, at next month's G7 Summit in Cornwall.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Sir David Attenborough has already inspired millions of people in the UK and around the world with his passion and knowledge to act on climate change and protect the planet for future generations.

The broadcaster and Prime Minister at an event last year

“There is no better person to build momentum for further change as we approach the COP26 climate summit in November.

“I am hugely grateful to Sir David for agreeing to be our People’s Advocate.”

Sir David has previously stressed the importance of COP26.

Addressing the UN Security Council in February, he described the summit as possibly “our last opportunity to make the necessary step-change” towards protecting the planet.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: "Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity and the stakes could not be higher for our planet.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma

“The next decade will be make, or break, for cutting global emissions sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

“That is why I am delighted to be working with Sir David, a hero for our country and our planet, to inspire action ahead of COP26."