Greta Thunberg has said world leaders have wasted time by failing to take necessary action on the climate crisis, with political inaction costing us another two ‘crucial’ years.
The teenage environmental campaigner – whose solo protest in Sweden in 2017 led to a global movement – has achieved a lot in those two years, including: being named 2019 Person of the Year; being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice; and repeatedly holding politicians to account for their inaction.
And it seems the 17-year-old isn’t willing to slow down anytime soon, particularly because she says political leaders are still ‘in a state of denial’ about the crisis, and aren’t doing enough to fight against it.
ellow activistst Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever and Adélaïde Charlier, Greta first acknowledged that a lot has happened over the past two years.
‘Many millions have taken to the streets to join the decades-long fight for climate and environmental justice. And on 28 November 2019, the European parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency,’ they wrote.
However, the activists went on to say this simply wasn’t enough:
But over these past two years, the world has also emitted more than 80 gigatonnes of CO2. We have seen continuous natural disasters taking place across the globe: wildfires, heatwaves, flooding, hurricanes, storms, thawing of permafrost and collapsing of glaciers and whole ecosystems.
Many lives and livelihoods have been lost. And this is only the very beginning
They said that while leaders are speaking of an ‘existential crisis’, when it comes to action ‘we are still in a state of denial’. The article added, ‘The climate and ecological crisis has never once been treated as a crisis.’
Not only that, but they said the gap between what we need to do and what’s actually being done ‘is widening by the minute’, adding, ‘Effectively, we have lost another two crucial years to political inaction.’
The activists are determined this inaction won’t continue though, and tomorrow, August 20, they are meeting with Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany – the country currently holding the rotating presidency of the European Council – to demand she ‘face up to the climate emergency’.
They noted the immorality of the fact that ‘the countries that have done the least to cause the problem are suffering first and worst’, saying rich nations must act now to stop some of their polluting activities in order to fight the climate emergency. ‘The EU must act now, as it has signed up to do in the Paris agreement,’ they wrote.
Tomorrow, Greta and other leading school strikers will demand a halt to all fossil fuel investments and subsidies, as well as requesting EU leaders to make ecocide an international crime, design policies that protect workers, safeguard democracy and establish annual, binding carbon budgets ‘based on the best available science’.
Hopefully their words will hit home and we’ll start seeing the necessary action soon.
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