Greta Thunberg at Davos 2020: ‘The world, in case you haven’t noticed, is currently on fire’
21 January 2020, 18:58
Climate activist Greta Thunberg warned world leaders their plans to curb carbon emissions are “completely insufficient” and that their inaction is “fueling the flames” of climate change, Euronews reports.
“The world, in case you haven’t noticed, is currently on fire,” she said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.
She hit out at governments for their alleged lack of action and accused them of using “empty words and promises”.
“You say that children shouldn’t worry,” she said. “You say: ‘Leave this to us, we will fix it, don’t be so pessimistic.’ And then: silence. Or something worse than silence: empty words and promises, that give the impression that sufficient action is being taken.”
She said her movement Youth for Climate — and climate activists around the world — are demanding that “banks, companies, institutions, governments, immediately hold all investments in fossil fuel extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, and immediately diverse from fossil fuel”.
“We don’t want these things done by 20250, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now”, she said.
Shrugging off accusations that such demands are “naive”, she said it is the “very minimum” needed for a sustainable transition, and issued a stark warning:
“Either you do this or you will have to explain to your children why you are giving up on the 1.5-degree target,” she warned. “Giving up without even trying.”
“My generation will not give up without a fight”, she said. “People will not give up. You are the ones who are giving up.”
Thunberg said nothing has changed since she visited Davos last year.
“One year ago, I came to Davos and told you that our house is on fire. I said I wanted you to panic, and I was warned to tell people to panic is a very dangerous thing to do,” Thunberg said.
“For the record, when we children tell you to panic, we’re not telling you to go on as before,” she said, listing all the ways world leaders have been ignoring her message since last year’s Davos summit:
“We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t even exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never will. We are not telling you to keep talking about reaching ‘carbon neutrality’ by fiddling around with numbers. We are not telling you to offset your emissions by paying someone else to plant trees in places like Africa while at the same time, forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.”
She called for leaders to put a net stop to carbon emissions:
“We don’t need to lower emissions, our emissions have to stop if we want to have a chance to stay below the 1.5-degree target,” she said. “We must forget about net-zero. We need real zero.”