On Tuesday, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg denounced the ‘30 years of blah blah’ by world leaders about climate. Thunberg accused the leaders of ‘drowning the hopes of young people in their empty promises’.
“There is no planet B, there is no planet blah blah, blah blah, green economy, blah, blah, blah, carbon neutrality in 2050 blah,” she said to the applause of 400 young people from around the world. These were gathered by the United Nations in Milan a month before the crucial COP26 climate conference.
“That’s all we hear from our so-called leaders,” the 18-year-old activist continued. “Words that sound good but have not led to action. Our hopes and dreams have been drowned in their words and empty promises.”
“Deliberate lack of action”
“Of course we need constructive dialogue, but they’ve had 30 years of blah blah blah, and where has that taken us?” said the activist. Thunberg called the “deliberate” inaction by world leaders “betrayal to present and future generations”.
The UN, Italy, and the UK Presidency of COP26 have invited 400 young people aged 15 to 29 from nearly 200 countries to prepare a joint statement for three days in Milan. It will be presented to ministers at a meeting later this week. “They invite specially selected young people to these kinds of gatherings and claim they listen to us, but they don’t. They don’t listen to us, they never did,” Thunberg told event organizers from the podium.
“But we can change things,” she pleaded. “We can no longer let those in power decide what is politically possible or not, we can no longer let those in power decide what hope is. Hope is not blah, hope is telling the truth, hope is action, hope always comes from people.”
While the number of climate disasters increases, countries’ commitments are still not sufficient to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, if possible below 1.5 degree. According to the latest UN assessment, published in mid-September, the world is heading for a “catastrophic” warming of 2.7 degrees.