Greta Thunberg spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
She called on the most influential business and political leaders to take immediate action on fossil fuels. This must happen now, today. Not on some arbitrary date in the future.
We are nearing the tipping point when it will be too late to stop global warming from exceeding the 1.5 or 2 degree target in the Paris Agreement.
Watch her speech in full or read the excerpts below.
When children tell you to panic, we’re not telling you to go on like before.
We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never will.
We’re not telling you to keep talking about reaching net zero conditions or carbon neutrality by cheating or fiddling around with numbers.
And we’re 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.
Let’s be clear: We don’t need a low carbon economy. We don’t need to lower emissions. Our emissions have to stop if we are to have a chance to stay below the 1.5 degree target.
And until we have the technology that at scale can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net zero. We need real zero.
The fact that the USA is leaving the Paris Accord seemed to outrage and worry everyone. And it should. But the fact that we are all about to fail the commitments you signed up for in the Paris Agreement doesn’t seem to bother the people in power even the least.
This is not about right or left. We couldn’t care less about your party politics. From a sustainability perspective, the right, the left as well as the centre have all failed.
You say children shouldn’t worry. You say, just leave this to us. We will fix this. We promise we won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic.
And then, nothing. Silence. Or something worse than silence.
Empty words and promises that give the impression sufficient action is being taken.
We demand participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don’t want these things done by 2050 or 2030 or even 2021. We want this done now.
The facts are clear, but they are still too uncomfortable for you to address…
I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing a climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying.
Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else.
It was another moving speech from the climate activist that sparked a global movement with her school strikes for the climate.
Whether you believe that cutting off fossil fuel at the knees is the way to go or you would prefer a rapid transition period to replace fossil fuel with planet-friendly alternatives, one thing is certain. We need concrete action now.