'My generation has done terrible things' - Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough has praised striking school children for their environmental activism, while also slamming his own generation's legacy.

In a podcast called Outrage and Optimism, Attenborough discusses the issue of climate change with former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.

In it, he lauded the movement that has seen school children walking out on classes around the globe to protest inaction on climate change.

"Their outrage is certainly justified, there is no doubt about that," he said. "There will be cynics who try to dismiss [the school strikers] and say they don't understand the world and how it works."

"Young people may lack experience but they also have clear sight. They can see perhaps more clearly than the rest of us who have been around for some time."

The legendary broadcaster and naturalist, now aged 92, said older members of society have no right to criticise the actions of young people.

"My generation is no great example for understanding - we have done terrible things," he said. "If we are not making progress with young people, we are done."

Indeed, when asked about the future his grandchildren face on Earth, his reply was grim.

"I don't spend time thinking about that because I can't bear it. I'm just coming up to 93, and so I don't have many more years around here. I find it difficult to think beyond that because the signs aren't good."

Thousands of Kiwi school children walked out of classes on March 15 this year as part of the School Strike 4 Climate protests.

New Zealand protesters demanded the Government "do more" to solve the issue of global warming.

In a list of demands published to the strike website, protesters asked for an effective Zero Carbon Act to be passed, giving New Zealand a long term plan for carbon neutrality.

They also want all exploration and extraction of fossil fuels to stop immediately, and asked for investments to be made into renewable energy alternatives.