One-on-One with Christine Lagarde, featuring Sir David Attenborough: Balancing Nature and the Global Economy

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DATE: April 11, 2019

DAY: Thursday

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1 Atrium (HQ1-1-700)

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Nature and economic progress often have a conflicting relationship. While water, forests and other natural resources make life and industry possible, the demands of a growing economy are putting unsustainable pressures on the global climate and vital ecosystems. How should economic policymakers rethink their best practices to responsibly manage the environment for future generations?

This event will include a screening of exclusive excerpts from the newly launched Our Planet series presented by Sir David Attenborough.

Join the conversation via #1on1Lagarde

One-on-One with Christine Lagarde, featuring Sir David Attenborough: Balancing Nature and the Global Economy


  • If we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves. The impact of our growing populations and consumption directly threaten our own future, according to Attenborough. Of all the mammals on Earth, 96 percent are humans and livestock. Just 4 percent are wild animals.
  • The demise of civilization. Attenborough warned of the potential collapse of civilization and the extinction of much of the natural world. With the projected rise in ocean levels and increase in the average temperature of the planet, large swathes of land, even countries, will become uninhabitable, triggering mass climate-induced migration.
  • Waste is the enemy. In response to a question from the Managing Director on what we can do to make a difference, Attenborough highlighted the perils of overconsumption and the growing scourge of plastic waste, particularly in the oceans. We can all do more to reduce our waste.      
  • Getting in touch with nature. Citing the UN, which estimates that more than 50 percent of the world's population now lives in towns and cities, Attenborough highlighted the risk of people losing touch with nature. Never has it been more important to understand how the natural world works and what we need to do to preserve it, he added.
  • A call for action and hope for the future. Attenborough urged policymakers to stop supporting and subsidizing industries/activities that damage the planet, and instead invest in enterprises that “help, not hinder.” He warned that the time to act on climate change was running short, and that we are headed for a major catastrophe unless we act on the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming. Our hope, he added, is with the growing movement of young people who are taking the moral lead in tackling climate change.   

Podcast: Nature Is Our Capital: Sir David Attenborough and Christine Lagarde


Panelist: Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who has been the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011. Previously, she held various, senior ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment, Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. An anti-trust and labour lawyer, Lagarde was the first female chair of major international law firm Baker & McKenzie, between 1999 and 2004.

Panelist: Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough’s broadcasting career spans over six decades during which he has played an extraordinary role both inventing and developing the medium of television and in connecting people to the wonder s of the natural world, bringing distant peoples, animals and habitats into living rooms across the planet. As a BBC producer and executive he has played a crucial role creating new forms of programming and scheduling that to this day still influences global broadcasting. In his role as a writer and presenter of natural history programmes, his work includes many iconic productions, from the ground-breaking Zoo Quest series to landmarks including Life on Earth, The Living Planet, The Trials of Life, The Private Life of Plants, Life of Mammals and Planet Earth. Sir David continues to be a power fulvoice for the natural world, presenting and narrating a wide range programming and reaching vast global audiences. His latest contribution is Our Planet, a series focusing on the preservation of life on earth.