One of the world's most famous scientists has lambasted Donald Trump's stance on climate change as one that could cause huge damage to the planet.

Speaking to the BBC as his 75th birthday celebrations begin, Professor Stephen Hawking criticised US President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.

"By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children," the celebrated scientist told the BBC, calling climate change "one of the greatest dangers we face".

In early June, Trump announced that the US would leave the agreement, negotiated in 2015, which commits countries around the world to keeping temperatures under 2C above pre-industrial levels.

The US President claimed that the agreement was unfair to America, in a move that was lauded by the coal industry.

Hawking also criticised 2016's other great populist movement when he said that the impact of Brexit would be "wholly bad" and leave the British scientific community "isolated and inward looking".

The great scientist was not particularly hopeful about the planet's future either, saying he worried that evolution had "inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome", adding added that he thought the human race's best chance might be "independent colonies in space".

Trump's decision could be a final straw for our planet, Hawking said, pushing the globe "over the brink, to become like Venus" - a planet that scientists think was left a boiling sphere surrounded by sulphuric cloud by a runaway greenhouse effect".

Hawking also looked back on his life as celebrations of his 75th year started. Asked what his legacy would be, he replied that it would that his discovery "that black holes are not entirely black" because it was something that could lead to resolving the clashes between quantum mechanics and the theory of general relativity.