Davos Agenda 2021: Greta Thunberg’s message to world leaders

Commentary, Online Exclusive Feature / 2021

Davos Agenda 2021: Greta Thunberg’s message to world leaders

Greta Thunberg calls for urgent action to address the climate and ecological crisis. The proposals being discussed and presented at the moment are “very far from being enough”. Below is an excerpt of her speech.

Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum


My name is Greta Thunberg and I’m not here to make deals. You see, I don’t belong to any financial interest or political party. So I can’t bargain or negotiate.

I am only here to once again remind you of the emergency we’re in. The crisis that you and your predecessors have created and inflicted upon us. The crisis that you continue to ignore.

The climate and ecological crisis can unfortunately no longer be solved within today’s systems.

Greta Thunberg, Climate and Environmental Activist

The longer we avoid this uncomfortable truth, and the longer we pretend we can solve the climate — and ecological emergency — without treating it like a crisis, the more precious time we will lose.

And this is time we do not have.

Today, we hear leaders and nations all over the world speak of an “existential climate emergency”. But instead of taking the immediate action you would in any emergency, they set up vague, insufficient, hypothetical targets way into the future, like “net-zero 2050”.

It’s like waking up in the middle of the night, seeing your house on fire, then deciding to wait 10, 20 or 30 years before you call the fire department while labelling those trying to wake people up alarmists.

We understand that the world is very complex and that change doesn’t happen overnight.

But you’ve now had more than three decades of bla bla bla.

How many more do you need?

GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST

Even though we welcome every single climate initiative, the proposals being presented and discussed today are very far from being enough.

And the time for “small steps in the right direction” is long gone.

As it is now, we can have as many summits and meetings as we want, but unless we treat the climate and ecological crisis like a crisis, no sufficient changes will be achieved.

What we need — to begin with — is to implement annual binding carbon budgets based on the current best available science.

And again, I’m not here to tell you what to do. The choice is yours to make.

But I can assure you this. You can’t negotiate with physics. And your children and grandchildren will hold you accountable for the choices that you make. How’s that for a deal?


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