David Attenborough hopes working from home becomes permanent after the coronavirus pandemic

Sir David Attenborough says there could be a permanent shift to working from home following the end of the coronavirus lockdown but questions if people will have the “strength of mind” to give up foreign holidays to mitigate climate change.

The naturalist and broadcaster is hopeful that people will realise that “you can work very, very well from home, and there is no need to have to endure that terrible journey [to work] packed like sardines in tins going into the middle of the city”.

“Maybe there will be a shift in the way we work and if that happens that’s because people prefer it that way,” he told Christiane Amanpour on CNN.

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The real test, he says, is whether people will give up their overseas holidays to reduce the “carbon dioxide that we are wasting on transport that we don’t need”.

“That’s the question: Do we care enough to do things that we don’t enjoy as obvious improvements?” he said.

The Planet Earth host spoke on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as millions of people took part in online events around the theme of climate action.

This year’s plans for events were upended by the coronavirus outbreak but the movement pivoted to 72-hours of digital action instead. It comes after the pandemic forced the UN to postpone the COP26 international climate conference set to put countries back on track to avoid climate breakdown.

Sir David is using his social isolation for good by stepping in as a geography teacher.

On Monday, he will begin educating pupils on topics such as oceans, animals and mapping the world through the BBC’s virtual learning programme, BBC Bitesize.

The lessons will be available to watch on BBC Bitesize Daily through BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button, and all elements of the classes have been developed with teaching professionals.