Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 5 April 2020

Greta Thunberg slams Davos elites on climate

Teenage climate activist tells forum governments did 'basically nothing' to reverse climate change

Four young activists including Greta Thunberg told those gathered at the World Economic Forum that they were not doing enough to deal with the climate emergency – and time was running out.

At a panel in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, the four said Tuesday that they hoped their generation had found its voice and could work with those in power to bring about the necessary change.

Ms Thunberg, 17, told the forum that governments had done "basically nothing" to reverse climate change.

"We need to start listening to the science and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves," she said, as US President Donald Trump was arriving in Davos, where he later gave a speech.

"Without treating it as a real crisis, we cannot solve it."

Mr Trump pulled the US out of the Paris accord limiting global warming and has traded barbs with Ms Thunberg on social media.

The Swedish teenager came to fame by staging a regular strike at her school, sparking a global movement that eventually made her Time Magazine's 2019 Person of the Year.

Ms Thunberg said that people were more aware about climate issues now.

"It feels like the climate and environment is a hot topic now, thanks to young people pushing," she said.

The others on the panel were just as forceful and passionate about the effects of global warming and how they, as young people, needed to raisw awareness and insist on change.

"The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have energy, and we have solutions," said Natasha Wang Mwansa, 18, a Zambian campaigner for girls' and women's rights.

Ms Thunberg said the time for action was now and that being at the top of the agenda meant nothing if the world did not come to grips with the climate emergency.

"I am not the person who can complain about not being heard. I'm being heard all the time," she quipped.

"But in general, the science and the voice of young people is not in the centre of the conversation."

Autumn Peltier, 15, the chief water commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation of indigenous people in Canada, said plaudits were not what the young activists were looking for at the Forum.

"I don't want your awards," Ms Peltier said. "If you are going to award me, award me with helping to find solutions and helping to make change."

Updated: January 22, 2020 04:03 AM

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