1 Sep 2015

Obama to test survivor skills on Bear Grylls show

12:18 pm on 1 September 2015

US President Barack Obama will trek through the wilderness in Alaska this week with British TV adventurer Bear Grylls, the NBC channel has announced.

US President Barack Obama.

US President Barack Obama. Photo: AFP

He is due to tape an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls to observe the effects of climate change on the area, it said.

He is the first president to appear on the show, to be aired later this year.

President Obama is on a three-day tour of Alaska aimed at highlighting the pace of climate change.

It is part of his administration's efforts to build support for new legislation significantly capping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the US, as well as raise attention to the ways climate change has damaged Alaska's natural landscape.

Mr Obama follows several other high profile figures, including actresses Kate Winslet and Kate Hudson, who have tested their survival skills on the show.

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls Photo: AFP

Bear Grylls - a former British special forces soldier - puts celebrities through their paces in remote forests and mountains across the world, "pushing their minds and bodies to the limit to complete their journeys".

This week Mr Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit the Alaskan Arctic, where he is due to address foreign ministers from Arctic nations at a conference on climate change.

He is also scheduled to visit glaciers and meet fishermen and native leaders to discuss rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers and melting permafrost in the sparsely populated US state.

Before he departed for Alaska, President Obama announced he was changing the name of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, to its original native Alaskan, Denali.

Earlier this month, the president unveiled plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years.