Eighteen-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg has condemned global leaders for their lack of action to address the climate crisis. The outspoken activist has dismissed their words as empty talk.
Thunberg quoted U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying, “This is not some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging.” She argues that global leaders have failed to live up to promises they made.
At the Youth4Climate summit in Milan on Tuesday, Thunberg called on world leaders to issue and commit to more stringent pledges. She also highlighted that carbon emissions continue to rise, despite many countries pledging to cut emissions. According to the U.N., carbon emissions are on track to rise by 16% by 2030. This is contrary to global environmental goals of reducing emissions to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg said in a speech. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises.”
Her speech comes as global leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Oct. 31. High polluting countries such as the U.S. and China have been challenged to deliver tougher pledges to stop global temperatures from rising.
While Thunberg agrees that there is a need for dialogue among global citizens, she has expressed her worries about the lack of action. She notes that, for over 30 years, global leaders have issued climate reform pledges without any meaningful action.
“Of course we need constructive dialogue,” said Thunberg. “But they’ve now had 30 years of blah, blah, blah and where has that led us? We can still turn this around – it is entirely possible. It will take immediate, drastic annual emission reductions. But not if things go on like today. Our leaders’ intentional lack of action is a betrayal toward all present and future generations.”
Via The Guardian
Lead image via Anthony Quintano