Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist whose school strike inspired young people around the world to take action against climate change, on Friday criticized world leaders for allowing the “exploitation of people and nature.”
“The leaders are doing nothing,” Thunberg said, addressing a crowd of thousands marching in Glasgow outside the United Nations climate summit. “They are actively creating loopholes, shaping the frameworks to benefit themselves to continue to benefit from this destructive system.”
One of the world’s most recognized climate activists, Ms Thunberg has painted a grim portrait of the summit in Glasgow, where officials from around the world are trying to strike deals to cut emissions and prevent the average global temperature from rising by above 1.5 degrees. Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels at the end of this century.
Speaking about the guidelines from Thursday’s summit, Ms Thunberg said that COP26 was “turning into a kind of green campaign, a public relations campaign”, for business and political leaders to pretend they are taking action on the global warming without tracking.
“Since we are so far from what we really needed,” said Ms Thunberg said at a New York Times event in Glasgow, “I think what would be considered a success would be for people to realize the failure of this COP.”
Business leaders and executives have made some important commitments. On Tuesday, more than 100 countries agreed to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by 30 percent by 2030. And on Wednesday, a coalition of the world’s largest investors, banks and insurers that collectively control 130 trillion dollars said they were committed to financing projects that would help companies and countries achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
But environmentalists have criticized the funding promise for lacking details.