Yusuf/Cat Stevens tells Andrew Castle: 'Starvation is the other pandemic'

6 November 2021, 10:48 | Updated: 6 November 2021, 10:50

By Elizabeth Haigh

Music legend Yusuf/Cat Stevens told LBC the "other pandemic" the world is facing is starvation and poverty as he discussed climate change and Cop26.

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Speaking to Andrew Castle this morning he said: "The other pandemic that we're facing and have been facing for many years is starvation and poverty."

Discussing Cop26 and the fight against climate change, he said: "How lovely it would be to be in a world that is greener and more friendly, climate-wise."

He said: "I've always been an optimist," adding "we can do this."

He discussed his up-bringing in London, saying: "London is a great city for sure, but when it comes to playgrounds, they're mostly cement."

Read more: COP26 protests: Thousands to take over major cities as crucial climate summit continues

He also compared the battle against climate change to the global response to the pandemic.

"The world changed overnight," he told Andrew. "It shows you that conditions make us do things differently."

He highlighted the importance of the role of children and young people in helping change the future of the planet: "Human beings are very, very versatile and children especially."

He said children "can deal" with hearing apocalyptic statements about the Earth's future, and criticised adults who "forget" they were once children themselves."

He said a “wake-up” is happening on climate change, and it’s being led by young people who don’t want things to carry on the way they are.

Read more: Raab says 'green' prison will teach inmates skills to get into work

Responding to Andrew's question whether children should be exposed to catastrophic predictions, he said that "getting the moral compass going is a good thing."

"Some truth at an early stage is very good," he said, praising climate activist Greta Thunberg.

His comments come almost a week after the beginning of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, seen by many climate activists as the last chance to save the planet from global warming.

Greta Thunberg, who was not invited to the summit, told a crowd in Glasgow last night Cop26 is a "failure" and nothing more than a PR exercise.