Greta Thunberg slams climate change inaction

21.1.2020

Young activist tells WEF gathering that very little has been done to deal with the crisis

21 January 2020 - 20:36 agency staff Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg and Swiss activist Loukina Tille attend a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21 2020. Picture: REUTERS/ DENIS BALIBOUSE Davos — Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday slammed global inaction on climate change in front of the world’s top business leaders, as the annual Davos forum faced up to the perils of global warming while bracing for an address from US President Donald Trump. The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alps resort got under way seeking to meet head-on the dangers to both the environment and economy from the heating of the planet. Trump, who has repeatedly expressed scepticism about climate change, was set to give the first keynote address of Davos 2020 on Tuesday morning, on the same day as his impeachment trial opens at the Senate in Washington. But before his appearance, Thunberg underlined the message that has inspired millions around the world — that governments are failing to wake up to the reality of climate change. “We are all fighting for the environment and climate. If you see it from a bigger perspective, basically nothing has been done. It will require much more than this. This is just the very beginning,” she said. Speaking calmly and with a wry smile, Thunberg acknowledged that her campaign, which began with school strikes, had attracted huge attention without yet achieving change. “There is a difference between being heard to actually leading to something,” she said. “I am not the person who should complain about not being heard,” she said to appreciative laughter. “I am being heard all the time. But the science and the voice of the young people are not at the centre of the conversation,” she added. The forum’s own Global Risks report published last week warned that “climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than many expected”, with global temperatures on track to increase by at least 3°C towards the end of the century. There are no expectations that Trump and Thunberg, who have exchanged barbs through Twitter, will actually meet, but the crowded venue and intense schedule mean a chance encounter cannot be ruled out. When Trump and his entourage walked through UN headquarters last year at the annual General Assembly, a photo of the teenager staring in apparent fury at the president from the sidelines went viral. Tweeting as he headed to Davos, Trump appeared in bullish mood, writing that he would “bring Good Policy and additional Hundreds of Billions of Dollars back to the United States of America!” “We are now NUMBER ONE in the Universe, by FAR!!” he added. Sustainability is the buzzword at the forum, which began in 1971, with heel crampons handed out to participants to encourage them to walk on the icy streets rather than use cars, and the signage paint made out of seaweed. Trump’s opposition to renewable energy, his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, and the free hand extended to the fossil fuel industry put him at odds with the entire thrust of the event. Business leaders attending the forum will be keen to tout their awareness on climate change but are likely also to be concerned by the state of the global economy, whose prospects, according to the IMF, have improved but remain brittle. The IMF cut its global growth estimate for 2020 to 3.3%, saying that a recent truce in the trade war between China and the US had brought some stability but that risks remained. “We are already seeing some tentative signs of stabilisation but we have not reached a turning point yet,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva. AFP Read more: Business Day

Greta Thunberg’s Davos message: ‘The house is still on fire!’The WEF’s annual risk survey saw environmental dangers elbow out issues such as cyber-attacks or terrorism, but inequality is also on the agenda

Greta Thunberg’s Davos message: ‘The house is still on fire!’The WEF’s annual risk survey saw environmental dangers elbow out issues such as cyber-attacks or terrorism, but inequality is also on the agenda

Dust storms and giant hail batter bushfire-weary AustraliaAustralia has since October been overwhelmed by an unprecedented bushfire season made worse by climate change.

Thunberg, Trump to offer competing visions at climate-focused DavosThe starkly opposed visions of US President Donald Trump and Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change will clash in Davos on Tuesday as the World Economic Forum tries to face up to the perils of global warming on its 50th meeting.

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